Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

Dads with "Dad Bods" make fat kids

How's that for a title?

I have been wanting to write about this topic since it caught my attention back in December, but have just not had the time to get to it until now.

I am absolutely fascinated by the field of epigenetics, or more specifically, the study of epigenetics that looks at genetic markers passed down from one generation to the next. In other words, the lifestyle you lead may end up being forwarded to your children if you are in stage of your life when you are wishing to conceive.

Take this study, for example from Cell Metabolism:

It is not entirely known what all of these genetic markers mean, but it is clear that there are changes being made at a genetic level for individuals who have lost weight. Or, another way to look at it, children of obese fathers unfortunately run a greater risk of being obese themselves, for no other reason than because their fathers were overweight around the time of conception.

Up until now, it seemed quite likely that obese children become obese due to the lifestyle. If you grow up in a household where your parents are making poor nutritional decisions, or are inactive, then there is a greater likelihood that those personality traits will be passed on. Unfortunately this study tells us a more startling tale. Even if an individual wishes to change their lifestyle, they may have more of an uphill battle based on their parents' lifestyle choices.

This isn't all bad news, however, as I always say that information is power. Nobody gets to choose their parents, we just have to play the cards we are dealt. However, if you can find out more information about your parents' lifestyles at the time of your conception, you may have a better indication of how strict you need to be in order to maintain a healthy body weight, for example.

And, if you are an aspiring father, stop being so damn selfish and get your ass in shape so your kids don't have to start off their lives at a disadvantage!

Interesting stuff...