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This BBC podcast explains why the environment that your mother was exposed to can influence the health of your children. Your vulnerability to specific conditions seems to be influenced by the conditions your parents were exposed to. Adverse environments can cause genetic damage. The legacy of poor nutrition can span generations. It could explain why heart disease is more common in deprived populations.
There is a suggestion that the higher prevalence of obesity,diabetes and radio vascular disease in the southern states of America can be explained by the hardships the population experienced in the American Civil War.
The environment that the male finds themselves in also has an impact on the vulnerability of their children to particular metabolic diseases.