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Mother's diet linked to baby's sex

The sex of a child can be influenced by what a woman eats around the time she conceives, according to research.

Experts from the University of Exeter and the University of Oxford claim the first direct evidence that food intake is linked to a baby's gender has been found.

Women who consume a lot of calories when trying for a baby are more likely to give birth to a son, they said.

Women who eat about 2,200 calories a day are 1.5 times more likely to have a boy than those who eat less than 1,850 calories a day.

Diets high in a number of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12, were also linked to male births.

Lead author, Dr Fiona Mathews, from the University of Exeter, said it did not seem to matter which food groups those consuming 2,200 calories a day relied on.

"It does not seem to matter whether you get most of your energy from carbs or fat, it's about the total amount of calories consumed," she added.

Louise Silverton, deputy general secretary of The Royal College of Midwives, said: "We do empathise with mothers who may want a baby of a particular sex.

"However, having a good diet before conception and during pregnancy can lay the foundations for a healthier life for the unborn child and the mother."

University of Exeter

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