Note to Dads: Obesity screws with your sperm

Listen Up New Dads

Whether you are a new dad and looking to have more little ones, or planning on becoming a papa, if you really want to give your baby the best care and best chance at health, a new study is strongly suggesting you look at your own health first.

It is now thought that sperm may carry epigenetic markers, which contribute to determining the weight of your children. That is, if you’re an overweight man, genetically speaking your child is more likely to be overweight when he or she grows.

In saying that, don’t get too excited as the research is in its early days, however it is a great excuses for you to hit the gym and skip on dessert.

“It’s becoming clearer that there’s more to parenthood than just genes — the state of your body at the moment of conception may carry a lot of weight for your child’s future.” //

Obesity in Sperm

There is also hope correlated with this new research. In the follow up of six men who were going through weight loss surgery, between five and nine thousand of those markers were gone within a year. So if you’re overweight now, it’s not a permanent problem for you or your future children, provided you take the action.

“The environment can change what your sperm cell carries, and it’s not random,” Barrès said. “The implication of this is that these changes will be transmitted to the egg, and maybe change how the embryo will develop, and maybe change how the child will develop. We don’t know this is so. We haven’t looked.” //


A larger study group will be needed to confirm this new data, and the group hope to follow up with a more in depth study, following the sperm from embryo to child. This is possible as in Denmark, embryos created for in-vitro purposes are used for research after five years, by law.

“The finding has potentially big implications, since a child’s weight has largely been thought to be due to environmental factors and to genetic factors that are not modifiable. So the idea that genetic material itself can be tweaked before it’s passed on is pretty exciting. And it should start to change how we think about the transmission of information between the generations.” //

Now even if the link isn’t cemented by further study and data, it is becoming increasingly clear that the father to be is as much responsible in terms of his health and passing that on to the baby, as mom, long before and immediately before conception.

The only solution men? If you’re not already, live a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. Eat well and exercise.

Dad Exercise


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