Obesity among grandfathers 'can affect the health of their grandchildren'

July 19th 2016

Men who are obese potentially risk passing down harmful health effects across multiple generations, according to a new study.

Carried out by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, the study looked at lab mice and found that specimens that were obese when they conceived put their children and grandchildren at significant risk of developing metabolic disease.

This predisposition was transmitted to the grandsons even if the fathers ate well and were metabolically well at the time of conception. By the time the cycle reached the great-grandsons of the original mice, the metabolic impact had largely disappeared.

While this means the generational damage is ultimately reversible, it nevertheless offers clear evidence that the health of a father can affect unborn future generations, as has already been established among mothers.

Lead author Catherine Suter, an associate professor from the Victor Chang Institute, said: "You can't treat your body like a rental car, otherwise you run the risk of propagating this for generations. As a father-to-be, it's worth considering whether your own health could impact on your children, and their children in turn."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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