HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Preconception Diet and Sex of Baby

The Associated Press reports on a study completed in England showing that women may be able to influence their sex of their child through their preconception diet. picks up the story and states,

Women can influence the gender of their child with what they eat before they conceive, according to new research that lends scientific support to age-old superstitions about pregnancy. 

The study of 740 women showed that higher calorie intake led to a higher probability of a male birth. The discovery shows higher calorie intake prior to conception can significantly increase the chances of having a son while women on restricted diets are more likely to produce daughters.


Scientists at Britain's Oxford and Exeter Universities, who studied eating habits of 740 women during their first-time pregnancies, say that their findings seem to back certain traditional links between diet and gender while disproving others. . . .

   "If you want a boy, eat a healthy diet with a high calorie intake, including breakfast," she told New Scientist magazine.   "Of women eating cereals daily, 59 percent had boys, compared with only 43 percent who bore boys in the group eating less than a bowlful per week."

The researchers said that a higher calorie intake prior to conception can increase the chances of having a son from ten to 11 boys in every 20 births, according to the study published in the Proceeding of the Royal Society B.   

They said it could explain why male births in richer countries are experiencing a slight reduction.

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