An unhealthy diet consisting of processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs, and other harmful ingredients will eventually lead to unwanted health issues. By now, this is common knowledge that everyone knows.. Additionally ,it has always been thought that a person with unhealthy eating habits is only hurting themselves. However, this traditional idea has been seriously put in question thanks to a study showing evidence that there is a link between a fathers diet and metabolic disorders in their children.

The scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that unhealthy eating habits are recorded in tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) and that these tiny molecules were found in sperm. The research showed that the tsRNAs can actually be transmitted from the sperm to the embryo at conception and could potentially cause disorders in the offspring such as sensitivity to insulin and cause them to eat a higher amount of glucose.

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The major premise of Darwin’s theory of natural selection states that nature alone dictates which traits (or species) are the fittest to survive. Moreover, this means that the human gene would constantly mutate/evolve randomly and that behaviors or environment of individuals would not affect it. However, this study contradicts that by showing the human gene can indeed be influenced by the behaviors and environment of each human.   The lead scientist of the study, Professor Duan stated  “Our study shows that trait inheritance can be achieved by RNA alone, which takes us into a totally uncharted area.”

The researchers concluded:

“In the fields of infant nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome, the term “metabolic programming” has been coined to give a name to the observation that environmental experiences early in life may be “genomically” remembered and give rise to health outcomes manifesting later in life. Epigenetics emerges as an important mechanism underlying this phenomenon,.”

One thing is for sure, much more studies will be needed before the scientific community even ponders a theory like this that is  viewed as very radical. Especially considering it contradicts Darwin, who has achieved almost godlike status in the committee. Although, that does not mean we should not heed the warnings of the study. After all, it is not like this is the only study suggesting our behaviors affect the traits we pass down.  For instance, there was a similar study conducted in 2012 that linked the fathers weight and diet at the time of conception with an increased risk that the child will become diabetic.  Additionally,  2012 brought us another study having to do with the behaviors of the father at the time of conception that lead to traits being passed on to the offspring — this time the behavior in question was smoking. The study found DNA changes in the sperm of smokers were also found in the DNA of the children.

All in all, it appears the time to ditch the old adage about our bad habits only affecting ourselves because it seems that these behaviors can create traits that can be passed on to our future generations.