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Obese dads pass on predisposition to obesity and metabolic disorders to their kids
Date:7/11/2013

Bethesda, MDIf you are obese and hope to be a father, here's another reason to lose weight: your children and grandchildren may inherit your waistline or metabolic disorders. That's because scientists have discovered in mice that obese fathers, even those who did not show any signs of diabetes, passed this negative trait on most frequently to their daughters. Sons don't entirely dodge this genetic bullet eitherboth sons and daughters of obese fathers have increased risks of developing metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

"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 Tod Fullston, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Robinson Institute, Research Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. "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."

To make this discovery, Fullston and colleagues used two groups of male mice. One was fed a high-fat diet that resembled a "fast food" diet and the other was fed a nutritious control diet. When compared to the control group, the group fed the "fast food" diet gained weight and had an increase in fat (obesity) without any indications of diabetes. The two groups of male mice were then mated to normal weight control diet-fed females to produce first generation mice, which were also mated to normal weight control diet-fed mice to produce the second generation. Both generations of mouse offspring had metabolic disorders and obesity, with the only difference being their father's/grandfather's diet, although male/female offspring had different health problems. By comparing small RNA molecules (microRNAs) in sperm from the obese mice as compared to the control mice, researchers deduced t
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Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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