It’s widely known that our lifestyle choices have a direct impact on our health. But for some reason, even as adults living in developed economies, many of us have a difficult time breaking harmful habits or adopting healthier ones.
Many people justify their behaviors by claiming that their choices only impact their own lives and therefore shouldn’t concern anyone else. But recent research may soon have these less-than-healthy holdouts changing their tune.
It’s not all up to Mom
The importance of healthy choices for expectant mothers have long been studied, and there’s plenty of published information regarding what women should or shouldn’t be eating or doing during every phase of pregnancy.
More recently, there’s been an increase in published information on what lifestyle changes women should incorporate before they even become pregnant. This includes basic health and wellness improvements such as not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, making healthy food choices and increasing certain vitamins and minerals. Of course there are also recommendations for increasing exercise and maintaining proper weight.
That’s a lot of responsibility, but most moms-to-be happily take on this challenge as they understand that the health and wellbeing of their unborn child is at stake.
But new research suggesting that the impact of lifestyle choices can be handed down from both the mother and father is about to shift some of this responsibility to the soon-to-be fathers.
Passing on genetic traits
It appears that certain traits that are thought to be influenced by lifestyle choices can be passed down directly from both the mother and father to an unborn child. Obesity is one of the most common traits in this category.
Studies suggest that if a mother or father is obese, their children and even grandchildren could be more susceptible to obesity. What makes this even more startling is that it seems to hold true even when the children are raised with healthy eating and exercise habits.
Time for change
For those former holdouts on diet and exercise, hopefully these new findings will spur them to change. But what seems to be most important is that healthy lifestyles are put in place before a child is conceived.
This means that couples who aren’t already working to improve their overall health through diet and exercise need to incorporate an overall lifestyle change into their family planning.
Learn from the past
This is also important news for adults whose parents didn’t live very healthy lifestyles, as they may be more susceptible to certain illnesses or diseases depending on what bad habits their parents had.
However, being more susceptible isn’t necessarily a lifetime sentence to a multitude of health problems. Just as any other person can improve their health through diet and exercise, so to can the offspring of parents who didn’t make the best choices.
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