Earlier research has suggested that higher levels of blood sugar glucose favor the growth of male embryos. Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week. The results showed that: The mothers to be gave information about their eating habits before and around conception and during the early months of their pregnancy. There was also a strong association between eating breakfast cereals and having sons. Nor was there a correlation between the body mass index BMI of a mother and the sex of her child.
Professor Stuart West, from the University of Edinburgh, comments: Among women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy but still within a normal, healthy range , 56 percent had boys, versus 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake. He is a fertility specialist at University of Illinois at Chicago who wasn't involved in the study. The mechanism is not yet understood in mammals, but it is known from IVF research that high glucose levels encourage the development of male embryos while inhibiting female embryos. The phenomenon is often explained as an evolved survival strategy. Women who had sons not only had higher energy diets but they were also more likely to have eaten a wider range and higher amount of nutrients such as potassium , calcium , plus vitamins C, E and B During pregnancy they also kept food diaries. Truth in old wives' tales on baby gender The study, which links higher energy intake around conception to the birth of sons, provides the first explanation of why the number of boy babies is in decline in the west, suggesting it is the result of women consuming low fat foods and skipping breakfast, among other things. However, I would be extremely cautious about using diet to try and influence offspring sex. This decline mirrors the fall in average energy intake in the developed world the obesity epidemic is driven by burning fewer calories in everyday life, due to less overall exercise, and eating high fat diets. The women were representative of the UK average according to weight, health and lifestyle, and there was no link between the mother's body mass index BMI and smoking and caffeine intake before pregnancy and the sex of the babies. Earlier research has suggested that higher levels of blood sugar glucose favor the growth of male embryos. Neither style of eating is healthy, and besides all the health risks linked with excess weight, other research suggests obese women have a harder time getting pregnant. Still, no one's recommending pigging out if you really want a boy or starving yourself if you'd prefer a girl. Females, on the other hand, reproduce more consistently. Diet before pregnancy can affect baby's sex, new research suggests A high calorie intake around conception increases the chances of a boy baby By Roger Highfield, Science Editor Other studies have found that average energy intake in the developed world has reduced, and that the obesity epidemic is driven by increased sedentary living and changes in food quality and eating habits. However, in leaner times having a daughter is a safer bet," she explained. The findings showed no evidence of a link between the gender and a mother smoking and drinking caffeine prior to pregnancy. The study is the work of researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Oxford and is published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Nor was there a correlation between the body mass index BMI of a mother and the sex of her child. The researchers found a strong link between the consumption of a high energy diet around the time of conception and giving birth to sons. Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week. Over the last four decades the birth rate for boys has been declining steadily in industrialized countries including the UK, the US and Canada. They were split into three groups according to the number of calories consumed per day around the time they conceived, revealing that 56 per cent of the women in the group with the highest energy intake at conception had sons, compared with 45 per cent in the lowest group.
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