According to researchers, babies who are born in the spring have a higher risk of suffering from anorexia. The study has shown that there is “clear evidence” that the season in which a baby is being born affects the way in which their body assimilates food. They are most likely to develop eating disorders if not since birth, then later on in life.
There are several reasons to why babies might get to be anorexic if they are born during the months of spring. Some of them include encounters with viruses or infections while still in the womb, while some may come as in the form of the mother’s eating habits or exposure to direct sunlight.
The study focused on the birth dates of almost 1,300 patients who were suffering from anorexia. Scientists had to compare their timing with the one pertaining to the entire population of Britain. Researchers from the Oxford University discovered that there are more babies suffering from anorexia born in the months of March, April, May and June than the rest of the year, especially the months of autumn – September and October. There are currently almost 90,000 Brits who are suffering from eating disorders. Most of them have been diagnosed with either anorexia or bulimia since they were teenagers.
Eating disorders can be compared to suicide and long-term diseases when it comes to ascertaining the number of premature deaths.
Dr. Lahiru Handunnetthi, who led the study, believes that it was the largest study eating disorder study yet to be undertaken. He said:
We found that susceptibility to anorexia nervosa is significantly influenced by a person’s season of birth, being higher in those people born in the spring and lower in those born in the autumn. Seasonal changes in temperature, sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels, maternal nutrition and exposure to infections are all possible risk factors. Identifying these risk factors is important in helping us understand and maybe even prevent illness in future.
The best way in which to ensure a healthy development of the fetus is for mothers to eat healthy and to refrain from smoking cigarettes or getting infections.