Why infants who look like their dads are healthier

Why infants who look like their dads are healthier

Newborns who resemble their dads have a healthy leg up on their first birthday.

That’s the report from researchers who tracked 715 families in which babies lived with their mothers and found that “infants who look like their father at birth are healthier one year later.”

The reason for the advantage, authors note in the Journal of Health Economics, is that such a dad-child resemblance “induces a father to spend more time engaged in positive parenting.

Fathers with lookalike little one spent 2.5 more days per month with their child than fathers who didn’t resemble their offspring.

The extra time and the better bond reaps benefits, including fewer health care visits and asthma attacks, researchers found. Bonuses of being around dads add up, according to the study.

“The main explanation is that frequent father visits allow for greater parental time for care-giving and supervision, and for information gathering about child health and economic needs,” coathor Solomon Polachek, economics professor at Binghamton University, told Business Insider. “It’s been said that ‘it takes a village’ but my coauthor, Marlon Tracey, and I find that having an involved father certainly helps.”

The report has implications regarding the role of a father’s time in enhancing child health, especially in families in which parents don’t live together.

Researchers noted that dads who spent more time with babies who resembled them had added certainty about the children’s paternity.

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