We came across a perfectly fascinating article about the fact that whether a baby is a boy or girl may be related to the mother’s diet at the time of conception … which is also true in nature.
“A joint study conducted by researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Exeter has turned up the tantalizing evidence that a child’s gender might be determined by mother’s diet around the time of conception.
If this is true, it goes a long way in solving the mystery of why there is a decreasing number of male babies born each year in the industrialized nations of the world, including the United States, Canada, and the UK.” (from Medweb)
The researchers analyzed 740 women’s diets – women who were pregnant with their first child, and who didn’t know the child’s gender.
“Using dietary intake as a measure, the mothers were divided into three groups according to their energy (caloric) intake around the time of conception. Of the group consuming the highest-energy diet, 56% had boy babies. The lowest-energy group produced only 45% boys.
“The highest-energy group not only consumed the most calories, they typically consumed a very nutritious diet, too. The foods they ate were of better quality, providing a healthy level of nutrients. The foods eaten were rich in Vitamins C, E, and B12 as well as calcium and potassium. The mothers producing sons also consumed a breakfast of cereal on a routine basis.” (MedWeb)
In the developed, industrialized nations both the rate of male births and caloric intake have declined. Citizens of industrialized nations consume more and more empty calories, including processed foods, and non-whole grains, and foods which are suspect due to their containing many chemicals not naturally present, such as pesticides, not to mention genetically modified plants and medicine-contaminated water.
This is really nothing new, but it apparently hasn’t been researched before. It’s well known that wealthier families, with a better diet, often have more sons than daughters – compared to the average families of that community.
“The value of a high-energy diet in determining gender has been observed with in vitro fertilization (IVF), also. High glucose levels produce more male embryos and inhibit the development of females. Eating breakfast raises glucose levels and signals the body that there is an abundance of food available. Skipping it signals a poor environment with spotty nutritional availability.” (MedWeb)
The full details of this study can be found in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The Sir Jules Thorn Charitable Trust provided funding.