Parents-to-be could consider consuming healthy and nutritional foods as new research indicates that there is a link between a father's weight during the time of conception and his child's diabetes risk.
Scientists from the University of New South Wales in Australia noted that previous studies have found that overweight mothers are more likely to give birth to larger babies. A mother's weight before she becomes pregnant also contributes to future problems, like diabetes, for her children.
However, the new research suggests that a father's diet can also contribute to his newborn child's risk for developing diabetes.
Scientists came to this conclusion after feeding male rats a high fat diet in order to induce obesity. The subjects then mated with female rodents that were of normal weight. As a result, the offspring had a low tolerance for glucose and insulin once they became young adults.
In the study, it was noted that this research shows overweight fathers may actually program epigenetic changes in their unborn children. This process alters a gene's function. The scientists indicated that these changes could occur in the sperm as a result of a high-fat diet.
In turn, leading a healthier lifestyle could reduce a child's risk for developing potential problems.