MUMS-TO-BE who munched on breakfast cereals, bread and potatoes are more likely to have a boy, say researchers. And the chances of a girl are higher for those on a diet around the time of conception. Scientists think nature steps in if women consume lots of high-energy foods as it's a sign that there's plenty to eat.
Dr Fiona Mathews, who led the research at Exeter University, said: "It would have been good for our early ancestors to have boys when food was plentiful because this would have produced more grandchildren. "An abundance of girls would be better when food is in short supply as this would have produced fewer grandchildren at more regular intervals." She added: "We know from IVF treatment that high levels of glucose are linked with boys. "So maybe if fewer calories are going into the body, it is being tricked into believing food is in short supply and it would be better to have a girl."
The research team looked at the eating habits of 740 British women who didn't know the sex of their baby. The experts studied their eating habits before conception and in the early stages of pregnancy. Almost 60 per cent of women in the top third of energy intake had sons compared with fewer than half in the lowest third. As well as consuming more calories, women who had sons were more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.
There was a strong connection between women eating breakfast cereals and having sons. There is evidence that skipping breakfast is now common in the developed world. In the US, adults eating breakfast fell from 86 per cent to 75 per cent between 1965 and 1991. Mathews said that could explain the falling number of boys being born in countries such as the UK and the US.
Skipping breakfast lowers glucose levels and may trick the body into thinking there is less food about