Is It a Boy or Girl? Your Appetite Knows

Women Eat More When Pregnant With Boys

From the WebMD Archives

June 5, 2003 -- Are you pregnant with a boy or a girl? How much you're eating could be a clue.

Harvard researchers say that pregnant women carrying boys eat about 10% more than those carrying girls. Their findings appear in the June 7 issue of the British Medical Journal.

Rulla M. Tamimi, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health, led a study of 244 pregnant women at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The women told the researchers everything they ate during their second trimester of pregnancy.

What They Ate

Women who ended up having boys:

  • Ate 8% more protein
  • Ate 9% more carbohydrates
  • Ate 11% more animal fats
  • Ate 15% more vegetable oils

The good news: This extra food intake didn't make them gain any more weight than women pregnant with girls.

Statistically speaking, the difference in food intake between women pregnant with boys and girls was only marginally significant. But, Tamimi and colleagues write, "the difference in energy intake between pregnant women carrying boys rather than girls is not trivial."

They speculate that it's the testosterone secreted by fetal testicles that's responsible for the extra food cravings of women pregnant with boys.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, June 7, 2003.