pregnant dietNew research out of England suggests that skipping breakfast increases the chances of giving birth to a girl. Conversely, high calorie nutrient-rich diets are more likely to result in a boy.

Researchers at Exeter University asked 740 first-time pregnant women to provide records of their eating habits before and during the early stages of pregnancy. Those with the highest energy intakes at conception produced sons 56% of the time, but those with low energy intake had sons only 46% of the time.

Dr Fiona Mathews of the Exeter’s School of Biosciences attributes this to the evolutionary drive to produce descendants, explaining “Potentially, males of most species can father more offspring than females, but this can be strongly influenced by the size or social status of the male, with poor quality males failing to breed at all. Females, on the other hand, reproduce more consistently. If a mother has plentiful resources then it can make sense to invest in producing a son because he is likely to produce more grandchildren than would a daughter. However, in leaner times having a daughter is a safer bet.”

It just goes to show you that if you want your kids to grow up big and strong, you’d better eat your Wheaties!