GPS Problem


The apathy


 Courtesy: The Economist

Courtesy: The Economist

An interesting research suggests that healthy food and specially healthy breakfasts can improve the odds of a boy. Unbelieveable, but those who have girls and want to have a boy in the family can try this.

The researchers say the modern trend to opt for low calorie diets might explain why the proportion of boys is falling in developed countries.
The study, by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford, appears in the Royal Society journal Biological Sciences.

The study focused on 740 first-time pregnant mothers in the UK, who were asked to provide records of their eating habits before and during the early stages of pregnancy.
The average calorie intake for women who had sons was 2,413 a day, compared to 2,283 calories a day for women who had girls.
Women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a higher quantity and wider range of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.
They were also more likely to have eaten breakfast cereals.
Fewer boys
Over the last 40 years there has been a small but consistent decline, of about one per 1,000 births annually, in the proportion of boys being born in industrialised countries, including the UK.
Previous research has also shown a reduction in the average energy intake in the developed world, and there is also evidence that more people now skip breakfast.

Scientists already know that in many animals, more males are produced when a mother has plentiful resources or is high ranking.
The phenomenon has been most extensively studied in invertebrates, but is also seen in horses, cows and some species of deer.
The explanation is thought to lie with the evolutionary drive to produce descendants.
Lead researcher Dr Fiona Mathews said: “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.”