Has your hubby been eating too many midnight snacks lately? He may want to start keeping an eye on his weight, especially if you’re trying for a baby, as a new study featured on Science Daily shows that his body weight and his heath at conception may have an effect on your child's obesity risk.

Dr. Margaret Morris and her team from the Pharmacology School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, worked with two groups of male laboratory mice: one was diabetic and ate high-fat meals, while the other was healthy and ate normal meals. Both groups were then mated to lean female mice, and the offspring were observed for their glucose and fat processing abilities.

According to the results, those who were born from obese fathers responded poorly to glucose level changes and showed altered gene expressions in the pancreatic islets, which are responsible for producing insulin that controls blood sugar and fat. This held true even when the offspring were fed healthy food.

“The fact that similar gene markers were affected in the pancreas and fat tissue tells us that some of the same pathways were being influenced, possibly from the earliest stages of life,” says Morris. “It will be important to follow up these findings, and to learn more about when and how to intervene to reduce the impact of poor paternal metabolic health on offspring.”

Previous studies have linked mothers’ weight gain during pregnancy to her child’s risk of obesity, but this study shows that fathers also need to stay fit and healthy.

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(Photo by alexendpap via Flickr Creative Commons)

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