Offsprings of fat fathers or grandfathers more likely to be overweight

Melbourne: A new study has revealed that children are more likely to have weight problems if their fathers are overweight at conception.

The research by University of NSW Professor Margaret Morris suggested that men planning to start a family need to shed those extra pounds three months before the conception date if they want to avoid fathering fat children, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The study, which was conducted in rats, found that even grandsons of fat granddads fed a junk food diet were much fatter than the grandsons of lean grandfathers who were fed the same junk food diet.

However, it was found that the grandsons of fat grandads who consumed a healthy diet did not end up obese.

Professor Morris explained that it wasn't the rat's genes that made the difference, but the influence of the environment on their genes.

The researchers said that the environment can change how our genes are expressed. Pollutants, obesity, even stress can alter how genes are expressed in offspring without altering the genetic code.

The study was presented at an obesity conference in Canberra.