Can a preference for sweet or savoury really have an impact?
It’s something we never really thought about, but apparently your sweet (or savoury!) tooth could be the driving factor behind the sex of your baby.
What expectant mothers eat determines the sex of their child – if the mother tucks into a big steak and plenty of red meat, it is said they will have a boy. However, indulging in chocolate or sweet snacks is believed to produce a girl.
It must sound like the an old wives tale, but new research advocates that this may indeed be true. Researchers tested 20 female mice by feeding them the steroid, dexamethasone, which kept their blood-sugar levels low. Low blood-sugar levels indicate a sugar-rich diet, which in turn produces more female than male offspring.
The sex of the litters of the mice was compared with that of 20 mice on a regular diet. Those mice who ate normally produced offspring that were 53% male. Whilst those on the steroid produced litters that were only 41% male.
The results prove that, in mice at least, a diet that is high in sugar, can lead to more female offspring.
The research, conducted at the University of Pretoria in South Africa believe that the research could translate to humans. Their research suggests that different types of food may affect the environment in the womb, making conditions more beneficial to male or female sperm.
Professor Cameron, who led the research, explained her work gave rise to the notion that diet really can influence the percentage of males and females in a country’s population.