Like Father Like Son?

Our Western diet has been heavily criticized for some time. It tastes good, it is cheap and fast, but too much of it and we don’t end up very fast ourselves. The current big issue is childhood obesity and the risk that puts them in for cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes problems.

A new study from the UK of 1147 school children in the 11 – 13 age group  by Brophy et al hit the streets last week in an issue of the Public Library of Science (1).

They found that a third were overweight, but more worrying, 17% had high blood pressure with 10% having high cholesterol values. Those from areas classified as deprived were more at risk than those from more wealthy areas. That’s the basic information, but the study prodded and poked a little more.

The problems start for the youngsters at conception, apparently. It seems that children born with a large birth-weight tended to be unfit and then more likely to get significantly overweight which then led to elevated blood pressure etc.

The other big risk factor is their father’s body mass index. Recall that once it gets into the 30’s, your physician will start poking you and “tut-tutting” as you’re standing there feeling vulnerable at your annual physical. So Dads need to keep slim and trim if they are planning to have a family, otherwise it won’t just be the family gold and jewels that they will be handing on, but the heart medicine and the insulin injections too as it becomes like father like son.

Up until now Dads have had a free pass when it comes to eating from conception on, but no longer. They need to get to the gym and get into training for pregnancy and beyond. They may end up with stretch marks, but for a different reason from those of the mothers.


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