What a woman eats during pregnancy may not be the only factor that ensures a baby’s healthy development.
Research has found an association between a father’s vitamin D intake and a child’s height and weight at age five.
Maternal vitamin D intake before pregnancy has been found to have an important role in a child’s musculoskeletal and overall health.
But researchers have paid little attention to whether a father’s vitamin D intake before conception can influence the health and development of their offspring.
Researchers from the school of public health, physiotherapy and sports science at the University College Dublin, Ireland, investigated the potential relationship.
Analysis of the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study found a link between a father’s vitamin D intake during the first pre-natal trimester and the height and weight of children at age five among 213 father-child pairs.
The findings showed no association between a mother’s vitamin D intake during the first and second trimester and children’s weight and height at age five.
The association was no longer statistically significant by the age of nine, according to the researchers.
‘‘Paternal vitamin D intake was positively and prospectively associated with offspring’s height and weight at five years old, independent of maternal characteristics, meriting further investigation of familial dietary pathways,’’ the authors concluded.