A new study conducted in laboratory mice reveals that fathers who are fat were more likely to produce children who struggle with weight problems.
The study was conducted by researchers at Ohio University who gave a high fat diet to male mice for a period of 13 weeks while female mice were given low fat meals and were not overweight. The study has been presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Francisco.
The researchers found that the male mice that were fed high fat diet were more likely to produce offspring who had higher body weight at six weeks, six months and 12 months compared to offspring of mice that were kept on low fat diets. The researchers also found that apart from being susceptible to heavier weight gain, the offspring were also more physically active compared to other mice.
"We've identified a number of traits that may affect metabolism and behavior of offspring dependent on the pre-conception diet of the father", lead researcher Dr Felicia Nowak said.