Eating for two: 'Obese' sperm leads to fat children, study says

© Lucas Jackson
Thinking about starting a family? You might want to hit the treadmill. According to a new study, sperm from obese men carries modified genes that predispose their children to weight gain.

Researchers in Denmark found that overweight men carry a “distinct epigenetic signature” in their sperm, different to that of lean men.

In a study recently published in Cell Metabolism journal, they also discovered that men who lost weight via gastric-bypass surgery are more likely to have slim children based on the change in their sperm cells.

@ Cell metabolism.pdf

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The comparison of 13 lean men and 10 obese men, including six obese men who underwent weight-loss surgery, proves that it’s not just women who have to prepare their body for having a baby.

“It’s common knowledge that when a woman is pregnant she should take care of herself – not to drink alcohol, stay away from pollutants and so on. But if the implication of our study holds true, then recommendations should be directed towards men too,” said author Dr. Romain Barres.

Researchers admitted the number of participants was small and are currently carrying out further study at a fertility clinic. They also plan on collecting data from the cord blood of the children fathered by each of the men, although it will take some time to accumulate a large number of volunteers.