Think you’re the only one in your relationship who has to stay in shape? A study featured on Science Daily says that men need to drop by the gym once in a while, too! Apparently, fathers who aren’t in good shape may pass on genes linked to obesity and metabolic problems to their kids.

Researchers conducted laboratory trials on two groups of male mice to see how inherited genes affect an offspring's health. One group was fed a high-fat diet similar to regular fast-food fare, while another was fed a controlled and nutritious diet. The male mice were then mated with healthy females to produce first-generation offspring, which were then mated to produce second-generation offspring.

Results revealed that both first- and second- generation mice from the fast-food line became obese and developed metabolic disorders. Researchers believe that RNA molecules found in the sperm of the mice might be responsible for the genetic transmission. According to News Medical, RNA molecules are associated with “ protein synthesis and sometimes in the transmission of genetic information.”

"If these findings hold true in humans, then a father's diet and body composition at the time of conception is likely to affect his future child's health risk of lifelong disease,” says Todd Fullston, one of the researchers involved in the study. “Fathers should aim to be as health as possible at the time of conception to give future generations the best possible chance of good health."

(Photo by popofatticus via Flickr Creative Commons)

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