This premise may seem logical and reasonable. The day anyone decides to have a child they give up the right to be a bad example. As a matter of fact, my opinion is that the day you start down the road to parenthood you relinquish all rights to selfishness and generally bad behavior. This includes how you take care of yourself.
The axiom of “Do as I say, not as I do”, never works. If you smoke cigarettes, there is a greater chance that you will raise a smoker. If you drink to excess, do not be surprised if your child develops problems with alcohol as well. Finally, if you fail to pay attention to your health, weight and nutrition you will probably have children that follow in your footsteps. Our responsibilities in this area are not limited to the days following the birth of our children, however.
A recent study determined that exposing human embryos to high levels of saturated fat can actually harm the development of a child in utero. The study went on to suggest that women should strive to achieve a healthy weight prior to having children. The study focused on embryos from cattle but the implications from the study appeared to translate to human eggs as well. Eggs exposed to high levels of fatty acids had fewer cells, altered genes and altered metabolic activity. The scientists also believed the study provided some insight as to why obese women may have trouble conceiving in the first place.
Obese and overweight women have a tendency to metabolize more of the fat they store. The fatty acids that are subsequently stored in the ovaries have been shown to be toxic to eggs. Therefore, just like drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can have serious health implications to an unborn child, being severely overweight and failing to eat properly can likewise produce adverse effects.
A child doesn’t get a vote on who their parents will be. They don’t get to choose the body in which they are conceived. Therefore, the responsibility falls on the parent to do right by their children and make good choices, not only for their own health, but for the health of their children now and into the future.