High-Calorie Diet Makes Moms Have Boys: Study

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2009 6:23 PM CST
"The biological reasoning didn't seem reasonable to me," said a statistician who questioned the study. "And I looked at the statistics and it was complicated, but it didn't look reasonable either,"   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – In news that may affect diets in China, a recent study says women who down more calories—cereal especially—are more likely to give birth to boys, NPR reports. One statistician questions the survey of 740 moms, saying "the female has nothing to do with the gender of the child." But study author Fiona Mathews says she welcomes criticism as "part of the scientific process."

Still, she finds it "highly unlikely" that 56% of high-calorie-consuming moms studied gave birth to boys "by chance." Mathews' work is part of a growing body of research questioning whether a mother's health or environment help fertilized eggs make it to birth. "There's a lot of compelling hypothesis and data, but we still don't have the full picture," said one evolutionary biologist.