A recent study published in the journal Cell found that paternal eating habits prior to conception can influence an unborn child’s level of risk for complex diseases such as diabetes and heart disease later in life.
Researchers at the University of Texas-Austin found indication that parental diet, especially that of the male parent, can affect cholesterol and lipid metabolism in offspring (Futurity).
From the study: “Offspring of [male mice] fed a low-protein diet exhibited elevated hepatic expression of many genes involved in lipid and cholesterol biosynthesis and decreased levels of cholesterol esters, relative to the offspring of males fed a control diet.”
Contemporary research focused on improving childhood health and kids’ eating habits have increasingly shown that parents dietary choices might be more powerful than previously thought.
A study recently conducted by Mildred Horodynski, a professor of nursing at Michigan State University, showed that the toddlers were less likely to consume real foods, like fruits and vegetables, four or more times a week if their mothers did not consume that amount (Read more: Kids Are More Likely To Eat Veggies When Mom Does Too).
Although Horodynski’s study focused on dietary habits and preferences passed from mothers during personal interaction, the University of Texas-Austin study suggests that “offspring can inherit such acquired characters even from a parent they have never directly interacted with, which provides a novel mechanism through which natural selection could act in the course of evolution.”
Image Credit: Flickr - Sam Pullara