Male weight loss good for baby

Ground-breaking pregnancy study focuses on father's role.
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01.Dad's weight loss has benefits for baby

Doctor examining small child

A health researcher at the University of Adelaide has presented evidence that overweight men who trim down prior to conception improve the prenatal development of their children. 

Speaking at a recent “Developmental Origins of Health and Disease” meeting in Perth, Dr Michelle Lane said eating better or exercising increased the size and number of cells that support the growth and development of the unborn baby.

“Our research proves that males play a far greater role than simply fertilising an egg. Their weight and metabolism at the point of conception play a critical role in the development and growth of their offspring,” Dr Lane said.

According to the university’s Robinson Institute, where the relevant research was conducted on laboratory mice, obesity in men of reproductive age has nearly tripled in the past 30 years and coincides with an increase in male infertility worldwide.

Dr Lane said plans are under way to compare the developmental health of babies fathered by men who are obese compared to men who lose weight and improve their metabolism prior to conception.

“We know that the nutritional intake and weight of mothers before and during pregnancy has a major effect on their baby. What’s now clear is that the father’s weight at conception is also a key factor to be considered.”


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