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Diet Influences the Sex of Babies?

I wasn't much of an eater until after I had my daughter, maybe that's how I ended up with a son.

A recently released study claims that a woman's eating habits prior to getting pregnant may influence the sex of her children. To get the details,


A Guardian article said:

The discovery points to a natural way for women to boost, if only slightly, their chances of having a boy or a girl, depending on whether they consume large amounts of foods such as bananas and cereals, or have a more restricted diet.

When it came down to the calories of the 740 women who were studied, it didn't matter if they were fats or carbs. But, 56 percent of women in the high calorie group had boys compared to 45 percent in the lower one.

Did this prove true for you?

Join The Conversation
G_Mork G_Mork 9 years
Your diet changes the chemical balance of your body, including your uterus. I don't know that the calorie content would affect your acid/base balance, but the acidic/base concentration in your uterus affects which sperm survive; it's been a couple years since I took my biology class so I don't remember which affects which, but more acid/base concentration kills off/weakens sperm carrying the X chromosome, or the Y.

I wish I could site a source, but it was in class that we discussed it and I didn't write a paper on that particular fact, so I don't have one.

macneil macneil 9 years
It's the man's sperm, but the idea is that some uterus, uh, environments are more friendly to different types of sperm. For instance, we know that male and female sperm swim at different strengths/speeds, so the thickness of vaginal fluid plays a part in which sperm reaches the egg more quickly, the timing of the intercourse may make a difference as female sperm live longer, and it's believed that the alkalinity of the uterus (affected by diet) is 'preferred' by one sex of sperm.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
Greggie--thanks for explaining it so well and concisely. I think that helped clarify things for all of us (certainly for me).
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Greggie, wow I had no idea that's where the tale came from! Makes sense though lol :)
Greggie Greggie 9 years
kiki, you're right. One way to increase your chance of conceiving a girl is to have sex in the days before ovulation. To increase chances of a boy, have sex on the day of ovulation or just after. (Neither is guaranteed, just a way of increasing chances one way or the other.) This is one basis of the old wives' tale of how you carry - girls high and boys low - because a baby conceived earlier will implant higher. I'm not claiming the old wives' tale is true, merely that it's partly where it originated.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
The study itself is fine and valid, it's the wording on lilsugar's part that's misleading, giving a false impression. Diet cannot determine the sex of a baby, only the sperm can do that. What the study claims is that certains diets (not just being ON a diet) can make the cervical mucus more "friendly" to the sperm that determines each gender. Some diets allow in the female sperm, some the male. Much like the timing of sex and certain positions may help bump your chances one way or the other. The study does not claim that the diet itself determines the gender.
xrawk_starrx xrawk_starrx 9 years
I call BS.
wingedkiare wingedkiare 9 years
kikidawn, I heard that same thing. While, yes, it is ultimately the sperm that determines the gender... apparently you can do things to alter the pH or whatnot to actually make the environment more conducive to either the X or Y chromosome. I would assume that diet could affect it, somewhat. Not sure the diet thing is entirely true...
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
This is probably one of the most ridiculous claims/studies I've ever heard of.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
hmm when I first read this (on yahoo) I totally disbelieved it. However, considering what kerneschick said I may somewhat believe it. I have read before that you can somewhat help determine the sex by when you have sex and where he ejaculates. I am not totally sure about the specifics but here is it is: apparently the X & Y sperm are each sensitive to either alkaline or acidic environments. The lower part of your vagina is acidic (or maybe it was alkaline) therefore either the X or Y don't survive in that part. If he were to ejaculate in the lower part then that particular sperm might not survive to make it to the egg. Also, I think X sperm live longer so if you have sex before you release your egg then the Y sperm will die off before the egg can be fertilized and you have a larger chance of having a girl. Of course I could be totally wrong! And please tell me if I am!! :) I am just relaying what I have read. I am sure of the specifics of the alkaline/acidity and which sperm is sensitive to each environment.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
lilsugar --doesn't your experiences disprove this theory? minipixie may uphold it.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
I agree, kerneschick, it sounds like they are making a correlation between diet and which sperm ends up making it to the egg. it's interesting to think that this would make a difference. I was dieting when I got pregnant the first time, and had a girl. I was dieting, and just got pregnant for the second time... I guess we'll see what happens!
kerneschick2005 kerneschick2005 9 years
This is talking about BEFORE the pregnancy, it does not "change" the baby's gender, but perhaps makes the...hmm...female fluid more favorable for the male or female sperm. Does that make sense? It isn't that the woman's diet changes the baby's sex, this is discussing how the diet prior to the conception can help determine gender.
secrethoughts secrethoughts 9 years
Obviously, I agree with the above comments. Women are XX; men are XY. Gender is determined from conception and depends entirely on which gene the man passes to the baby. I think perhaps this study might have it backwards...perhaps the gender of the baby (hormone balance perhaps?) influenced the mother's preference for certain foods during the pregnancy.
cherrygirl143 cherrygirl143 9 years
I agree. Everyone said I would have girls because of this that and the other while I was pregnant...I ended up with three boys!
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
Yeah I am with the two above comments. We learned in elementary biology classes that the X or Y chromosome that determines sex comes from the male. How can eating a certain diet change the sex? I might have believed it more if it was talking about men's diets but women don't have Y chromosomes so they can't determine the sex with their half of the DNA. Right?
nicole121482 nicole121482 9 years
Give me a break! It's the guys sperm who determines the sex of the can do backflips, have sex in whatever position you want and eat however you want, it's about the guy...I thought this was determined years ago and everyone was in the know these days?
LaDolceVita LaDolceVita 9 years
I thought it was the man that determined the sex???
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