You (And Your Kids) Are What You Eat

This Father’s Day I want you to think a little differently. As the love pours in from the family, or the family to be, give something back this year. There’s new meaning out there to being the best man (and father) you can be. And that involves taking great care of yourself. Not only are you your best investment in life, you’re also one of your family’s best investments.

Heard it Before?

Let’s start with being overweight. Playing the obesity game is not a winning strategy. Obesity leads to not only infertility but also diabetes, cholesterol issues, heart disease, other metabolic derangements and even cancer. All in, it basically leads to a shorter life. Not great for the family. But you know this. Nag, nag, nag.
But let’s take it a step further, and see if what I tell you next changes your mind about living life on the heavy side. Solid epigenetics research now shows that by being overweight, you increase your children’s risk of having obesity and possibly other metabolic disorders. Why put your kids at risk of diseases even before they are born? Does that change things a bit for you?

News to Me

An eloquent study from Denmark and Sweden recently showed that the various epigenetic “marks” on the DNA of sperm vary greatly in obese and lean men. Remember that these “marks” control whether genes are expressed or not in daily life. In a nutshell, the kinds of genes that differed the most between lean and heavy men were those involved with nervous system development and metabolism. And, remember guys, if it’s in your sperm, then it’s gonna be handed down to kids, because that’s what sperm do. It’s the “sins of the father” story all over again.
Not only that, these researchers cleverly compared the sperm epigenetic patterns in the same men before and after gastric banding weight loss surgery. Incredibly, major gene banks were epigenetically remodeled with weight loss, some as soon as 1 week after surgery! And one hotspot for epigenetic change was in genes that govern nutritional intake. Who’d a thunk that passing on your genes could be so fluid a process, changing dramatically as your personal health changes? It’s microevolution in all of its teleological glory.
So what’s a man to do? Be the best man that you can be. Treat your body like a temple and give your family more than love. Give them your health. Happy Father’s Day!