New evidence is emerging through epigenetic research that our parents’ behaviors before we are born influence us more than previously imagined. Epigenetics is the ability of genes to be influenced by our experiences, altering our genetic make-up in real time. Now it appears that these epigenetic changes can also be passed down to future generations. In one study, certain smell memories in mice affected at least two generations. Other evidence shows that a mother’s diet during pregnancy can influence her child’s food preferences and likelihood of obesity later in life. Mothers eating foods high in fat can change fetal development, which then translates into dietary preferences for foods with higher fat and sugar contents.
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