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Story Updated: Dec 11, 2012

So...researchers in Britain analyzed data from more than 19-thousand kids who were part of a national health survey. The children were given a series of standardized tests and the mothers were asked to report their pre-pregnancy body mass index or BMI.

The data showed that the more overweight a woman was before pregnancy, the lower the child's cognitive abilities at age 5, and again at age 7 although the overall effect was modest.

While the study wasn't designed to look at the whys involved...Researchers believe that obesity may have direct effects on the developing fetal brain.

They say the study supports current recommendations that women considering motherhood aim for a healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with health news for a healthier living.

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