Obesity the disease of the ‘modern world’ and unfortunately, in Australia, the number of overweight people is continuing to grow. Recent research has shown that it’s not just the easy availability of fast food and lack of exercise causing the problem: it seems that genetics plays a key role multi-generational weight issues.
A recent study in America tested the theory that ‘fat’ genes can be passed down from fathers to their children. A group of scientists fed the offspring mice of ‘obese’ father mice a low-fat diet. Despite their healthy food intake, these baby mice gained extra weight and displayed unusual body fat composition when compared to baby mice that had normal weight fathers.
While this research is in the early stages, scientists have concluded that the metabolism of food in the offspring of overweight male mice is ‘slowed’ and this negatively affects how they store fat. This is despite the offspring mice having a healthy diet. (read more here: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/fat-fathers-affect-childrens-weight/story-e6frfkp9-1226664780793)
If this research proves to be true for humans as well, then children of overweight fathers have a greater chance of carrying extra weight no matter if their diet is healthy or not. This paints a grim picture for the future generations of Australians, when you consider that currently 70% of men over the age of 18 are either overweight or obese (see ABS figures: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4125.0main+features3330Jan%202013 )
So Aussie men, it’s time to stop the obesity tidal wave: firstly, do not accept that being overweight is ‘normal’. It’s not, and if you don’t lose weight before starting a family, your genes could make your children overweight too!
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