News on Wellness

Trans-generational Link between Early Smokers’ and Obese Sons Found


A recent research conducted in the University of Bristol, funded by UK Medical Research Council on children of the 90s showed that men who have had exposure to smoking before they turned 11 are likely to have obese sons. Body fat of these children is estimated to be between 5 and 10 kg more than normal or average body fat. The report published in European Journal of Human Genetics suggests that exposure to tobacco at an earlier age, induces metabolic changes that will have an effect on the next generation or the future generations.


According to Prof Marcus Pembrey, who is the senior author of the study, this is a groundbreaking finding as obesity is a major concern, finding out the trans-generational impact on obesity will help in future research and also turn out to be a preventive measure. He further added that, the lifestyle changes or factors should not be studied in just one generation, but previous generations as well. He added further perspective, saying that the other common diseases could also be due the effects of the previous generation.

This research took into account 9886 fathers and questioned them on their smoking habits. 54% of this study group were smokers and out of which 3% were regular smokers before they turned 11. Sons of this 3% group were studied by weighing them in ages 13, 15 and 17. Results showed that the BMI of these children were high in comparison to children of non-smokers or people who started smoking late.

Research further suggested that boys are very sensitive, especially before they reach puberty. Daughters examined showed some signs but, the degree of effect was not as same as boys. Study included taking into account fathers’ weight, but there was no scientific factor that would explain high fat content or high BMI in these children. This research also further reveals that, fathers who had been smoking before they attained 11 had a lower BMI than the average.

Chairman of the Medical Research Council, Prof David Lomas stated that information collected from people on diseases and health provides valuable data, which could give a lot of information on the links. For instance, the link between cancer and smoking was identified 60 years ago by analysing the data collected just like the one on obesity found now.

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