The prevalence of obesity in adults has been rising continually, as has the prevalence of childhood obesity, and a large number of epidemiological studies have demonstrated a direct relationship between parental obesity and childhood obesity. In this paper, we review the effect of diet, the intrauterine environment, and the genetic inheritance on obesity. We described a study in detail that used experimental animals as a model to investigate the effect of a parental high‐fat diet on body‐fat accumulation in their offspring. Fertilized eggs were transplanted in that study, and body‐fat accumulation in the offspring of the parents fed a high‐fat diet was found to be greater than in the offspring of the parents fed a low‐fat diet, even when the experimental conditions were the same in the intrauterine and subsequent environment. The results suggested that a parental high‐fat diet before intrauterine developmental stage may increase body‐fat accumulation in the offspring. We discuss the possibility that parental diet may influence the lifelong health of offspring and epigenetic inheritance may be occurred.
Obesity Reviews – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2006
Keywords: ; ; ;
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