A study conducted by East Tennessee State University researchers links obesity to prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke.
The study appeared in the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health. It used data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development between the years of 1991 and 2007.
The researchers concluded that a woman who smokes or is exposed to second hand smoke before or during pregnancy is more likely to have children who become obese during their teenage years. Doctor Liang Wang says there is a strong connection. "Some studies have found that when you have obesity in adolescence then you have more likely to become obese when they become adults." said Wang.
Wang adds that introducing smoking cessation programs to women one year before a pregnancy may curtail childhood obesity rates.