Father's health may influence child's type 2 diabetes risk

Men who eat an unhealthy diet and have excess fat may be putting their unborn children at a greater risk for type 2 diabetes. A new study from University of New South Wales researchers has shown that a man's weight and diet at the time of conception can affect their child's likelihood of developing the condition.

Doctors have long known that a woman's health can affect her unborn child's. However, these findings, which were published in the journal Nature, are among the first to show that a male may be able to impact his child's risk for metabolic diseases.

"It adds another level to our understanding of the causes of the growing epidemics in obesity and diabetes," said Margaret Morris, who led the investigation. "We've known for a while that overweight mums are more likely to have chubby babies, but until now, the impact of the father's environment - in terms of his diet - on his offspring had not been investigated."

She added that it may be important for men to improve their cardiovascular health and cut fat out of their diet before trying to conceive.

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