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Obese Fathers More Likely to Have Obese Children

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BY  Maria Cendejas  and editing by Stacey Sexton

Australian researchers have discovered that the sperm of overweight fathers appears to transfer a molecular signal that causes their offspring to inherit obesity, according to nzherald.

The study suggests that the obesity in the offspring of overweight fathers occurs more frequently and is more severe in females than males.

The work of Robinson Institute Research Center for Reproductive Health at the University of Adelaide has concentrated on microRNA expression on mice sperm.

The study involves two groups, one of mice fed a high-fat diet and another fed a healthy diet.  Researchers then screen the microRNA to profile the sperm.

The researchers will soon recruit people into the study and introduce the research at the World Congress on Human Reproduction in Melbourne.

The transfer of the obesity factor is a biological process, not a genetic one. A father who loses weight and gets fit is less likely to pass on obesity to his children, according to the research.

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