Dad’s Weight Could Affect Your Unborn Baby’s Future Health

Are you hoping your kid will be a chip off the old paternal block? A study out of Australia suggests that may be the case for overweight dads. Obesity in fathers can predispose their babies to becoming overweight later in life!

Until recently, studies on parental health and its the impact on a fetus have been primarily focused on Mom, but the scientific community is now beginning to investigate the impact that the father's health and fitness might have on the child, even as early as at the time of conception.

Publishing in the FASEB Journal, the study researchers mated two groups of male rats, each with lean female rats. One group of the males had a normal, healthy diet while the other group was fed a diet of high fat foods. The offspring of the obese rat fathers showed altered expressions in the pancreas, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and producing insulin and fat tissues.

Similar research done by a team in Canada also found that a father's diet does affect the health of his offspring. Male mice on a diet that was deficient in vitamin B9 (that's folate) mated with female mice and the risk of birth defects rose almost 30%. Similar results happened in testing conducted at Duke University, where for the first time this type of research used humans as the study subjects.

Women are told to watch their diets and maintain healthy habits, especially when they are trying to conceive. These studies indicate that advice is equally important for potential dads, so make sure your man is also watching his weight.