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Stranger Than Fiction

Smoking before puberty contributes to obese off-springs

Published:Wednesday | January 26, 2022 | 8:58 PMA Digital Integration & Marketing production, BANG Bizarre

A study produced by researchers at the University of Bristol builds on previous suggestions that males smoking as a child could be linked to having overweight children.

Their findings suggest that the negative impacts on their future descendants can extend up to four generations, and health concerns - such as being overweight - can be inherited and not just lifestyle issues.

The experts reviewed the data - gathered from 14,000 pregnant women’s connected to the Children of the Nineties Study, which researches their kids and grandchildren's health - and uncovered the link between having increased body fat and having grandfathers or great-grandfathers who smoked.

Professor Jean Golding, the report’s lead, said of the findings: “This research provides us with two important results.

“First, that before puberty, exposure of a boy to particular substances might have an effect on generations that follow him.

“Second, one of the reasons why children become overweight may be not so much to do with their current diet and exercise, rather than the lifestyle of their ancestors or the persistence of associated factors over the years.”

However, she admitted that the data - from long-dead family members - was not abundant and more work would need to be done to confirm the findings.


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