Obese dads put kids at risk for metabolic disorders

A dad's diet and weight at the time of conception likely affect his offspring's risk for metabolic disorder and obesity, new research suggests.

A study from the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that obese mice were more likely to father sons and daughters who had an increased risk for diabetes - and that daughters were more susceptible to this risk.

"We've known for quite some time that obesity is a serious problem for children of expectant mothers," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "and now we see that obesity is likely a serious problem for children of obese fathers as well."

Obese male mice mate with healthy controls

Researchers used two groups of mice in the study - one that was fed a high-fat diet and a control group that was fed a nutritious diet. The experimental group, not surprisingly, gained weight and had an increase in obesity - but this group didn't show any indication of diabetes.

The two groups of male mice were then mated with female mice that were fed a nutritious diet and who were normal weight. These offspring were then mated to normal-weight control mice to produce a second generation. The mice that came from obese fathers or grandfathers had metabolic disorders and obesity, with the female offspring inheriting most cases of diabetes.

Obesity and sperm molecules

Researchers looked at small RNA molecules in sperm, comparing those that came from obese mice to those that came from control mice. They concluded that changes in these molecules could be partially responsible for the genetic predisposition toward metabolic syndrome or diabetes - and that a father's diet can change the molecular makeup of his sperm.

"If these findings hold true in humans, then a father's diet and body composition at the time of conception is likely to affect his future child's health and risk of lifelong disease," said researcher Tod Fullston, Ph.D.

And since health outcomes extend beyond first-generation offspring, fathers should also be aware of how health risks can be passed down to their grandchildren.

"Fathers should aim to be as healthy as possible at the time of conception to give future generations the best possible chance of good health," Fullston said.

Source: EurekAlert!

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...