“You are what your mother fed you…”

Here’s an article that was published on September 14, 2010 that I discovered on the Scientific American website titled:

Man-Made: A Baby Boy’s Development May Predict a Young Man’s Success… “Early childhood nutrition may play a role in determining the stature and masculinity of young men, suggests a study that began in 1983.”


This article delves into the importance of nutrition during the first 6-months of a babies life, but more specifically that of a baby boy. It was a longitudinal study of 770 Filipino men which tracked their height, weight, muscle mass, strength, testosterone levels and sexual history from birth until their early 20s.

The study revealed that the first developmental stage is critical for young males, which may be a successful predictor of how tall, strong and how quickly he will mature. Researchers attribute the importance of this period to high levels of testosterone.

…So I guess we are what we eat. If you have a son and want him to be huge, strong, and incredibly masculine, than the key is feeding him hearty meals during the first 6 months after birth! (And if he’s going to play linebacker for a DI football team, do make sure he wears a helmet and avoids concussions… keep his brain safe!)

2 thoughts on ““You are what your mother fed you…”

  1. Did they track what mother was eating? This probably is more about you are what you mom ate given that babies are typically breastfed almost exclusively during that period. Did they discuss that? (I didn’t check out the link yet… ) Way to kick things off, Tory! 🙂


    1. Here’s the link to the empirical paper:

      The article does make a few references to the ways in which the mother’s diet may effect the child’s growth.

      “Maternally derived ecological cues transferred via the placenta or in breast milk could convey information about typical energetic or social experiences
      in the past, and thus allow the developing organism to modify biological settings in anticipation of conditions likely to be experienced in the future.”

      “In a rat model, maternal dietary restriction during the age of suckling has been shown to result in lower testosterone in adult male offspring, pointing to a long-term impact of early postnatal nutrition on HPG axis function.”

      In terms of the study itself, it did include a few measures of ‘Maternal nutritional status and household characteristics’, but I don’t see any mention of the mother’s diet. Hmmm… a potential confound; they left out critical information!! Sneaky.


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