Father factor: Dad’s diet and lifestyle’s influence on child’s health, anxiety, obesity | Health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

We often hear about how a mother’s diet and lifestyle during pregnancy can affect the health of the baby but what about the father’s role? Are you aware the father’s eating habits are associated with the baby’s health?

Father factor: Dad's diet and lifestyle’s influence on child's health, anxiety, obesity (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)
Father factor: Dad’s diet and lifestyle’s influence on child’s health, anxiety, obesity (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dt Inshara Mahedvi, Consultant- Dietician at Motherhood Hospital in Pune’s Lullanagar, revealed, “Those fathers who tend to opt for a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates will notice symptoms of anxiety when it comes to their child’s health. While there is a significant amount of awareness regarding the impact of the mother’s diet on the child’s health.”

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However, little did we know that even the father’s lifestyle and diet pattern can take a toll on the child’s entire well-being. Yes, that’s right! Dt Inshara Mahedvi said, “It is a known fact that the child’s health and development is known to get impacted if the woman fails to follow an appropriate diet during pregnancy. Similarly, if the father’s diet is poor it can be a problem for the child as he/she grows.”

Decoding the effect of a father’s diet on the child’s health

Dt Inshara Mahedvi highlighted –

  • The diet influences the development of sperm cells linked to the nutrients consumed by fathers. A poor diet tends to alter the expression of a child’s genes even though the DNA is unchanged. According to the evidence available, daughters born to fathers with higher fat percentages in their bodies were likely to have more body fat.
  • Apart from this, these daughters may also exhibit symptoms of metabolic diseases like diabetes that are linked to fatal liver, heart, kidney and gallbladder problems.
  • Obesity is another problem seen in children whose fathers tend to have poor eating habits. These conditions can have long-term consequences on the child’s health and lower their quality of life.
  • Also, those fathers who follow a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates were likely to witness increased anxiety symptoms in their children.

Dt Inshara Mahedvi concluded, “The right amount of balance of macronutrients consisting of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in fathers will help to maintain the child’s cardiac well-being. By taking into consideration the exact quantity of protein, fat, and carbs in the father’s diet, it is possible to improve the child’s health. The parents must pay attention to their diet, and ensure to choose foods loaded with all the vital nutrients before conception. This way, parents can see to it that the future generation is healthy. Both parents should take the help of a dietitian who can guide them regarding what to eat and delete from the diet.”

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