It turns out that kids with obese fathers have unique epigenetic changes that can affect their health… for the worse.
Children with obese fathers have less methylation on a specific region of the IGF2 gene. Sadly, this occurrence is linked with many types of cancers such as ovarian cancer.
However, it is too soon to tell if these epigenetic changes are directly linked to the children’s’ health.
According to the biologist Gudrun Moore, “it is tempting to over-emphasize the role of a small number of parent-of-origin expressing genes and to speculate about the effects of modest variation in methylation, but we must not be too hasty to blame either parent for their offspring’s health outcomes.”
However, other researchers are sure that that your parent’s environment and habits affect children’s health.
According to Michael Skinner, this research “suggests that environmental epigenetics might be the mechanism for these effects.”
Maybe now both the mother and father have to be careful about what they eat during the pregnancy. Sorry Dads-to-be, you are going to have to eat healthy now!
For more information on epigenetics and health, you can visit these links.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ynse/1531699476/