What you eat around the time of conception may affect whether you have a boy or a girl baby, say researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Oxford.
Their study of 740 first-time pregnant mothers determined that those who consumed the most calories and the widest array of nutrients at conception were more likely to have sons than those who consumed the least amount of calories and nutrients. There was also a strong correlation between women eating breakfast cereals and producing sons, the researchers note.
The nutrients point is important: filling up on empty calories and skipping breakfast are not good, whether you’re trying to conceive or not. The researchers speculate that the lower average energy intake and breakfast skipping that is more common in the developing world may be behind the consistent decline in the proportion of boys born in industrialized countries.
Fathers genetically determine sex, however, it is speculated that mothers’ high levels of glucose “encourage the growth and development of male embryos while inhibiting female embryos.”
The study found no connection between a mother’s smoking habits, caffeine intake, or body mass index on a baby’s gender.
I’ll be interested to see whether further research upholds this evidence. Although it’s certainly not the researchers intention, I worry that some will use this information to encourage the idea that producing sons is somehow preferable to having girls.
What do you think?