New study suggest that even well before conception, a parent with poor health may predispose their children to have poor health too.
Unhealthy parents may set their children on course for a life of poor health even before they are conceived according to researchers from The University of Adelaide in Australia.
The findings, reported on in Medical News Today, suggest that parental history, even when it is not encompassed in genes, can significantly influence the future health of their child.
Prof. Sarah Robertson of the Robinson Research Institute at the university, said:
‘We can give our children a burden before they have even started life’
For example, a parent who is obese could significantly increase the risk of their child developing metabolic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The team notes that anxiety and immune dysfunction could also be passed down.
But despite their findings, Prof. Robertson notes it may not be too late for parents-to-be to make some changes that influence their child’s health for the better.
“A few lifestyle changes by potential parents and improvements in the right direction, especially in the months leading up to conception, could have a lasting, positive benefit for the future of their child,” she says.