Children of obese fathers at risk of being overweight: study

Obesity

Children of obese fathers are at a greater risk of being overweight, a new study by Australian researchers has claimed. Adelaide University's Robinson Institute team has found molecular signals in the sperm of obese fathers could produce diabetes-like symptoms and obesity in two generations of offspring, even if those children consumed healthy food.

Researcher Tod Fullston said that this was the first time such a link was found. "A father's diet changes the molecular makeup of the sperm," he was quoted by ABC News as saying. "With obese fathers, the changes in their sperm, in their microRNA molecules, might programme the embryo for obesity or metabolic disease later in life," Fullston said.

He said research had used mice and the next step would be human trials. "We'll be proposing to do human studies based around that very thing, whether men with a higher BMI (body mass index) do indeed have a different microRNA profile within their sperm and we'd also like to have a look at whether diet and exercise return that to what it would be in a normal weight male," he said.

The study found that the second generation could face similar metabolic disorders, including obesity, however, not a severe one. Fullston said even if an obese father had no signs of diabetes, metabolic disease similar to diabetes could turn up in two generations of descendants.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.