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Food in First Years May Affect Fertility
British and Finnish researchers suggest reproductive success in both men and women is affected by the food they eat early in life.
Researchers led by Dr. Ian Rickard of the University of Sheffield in England found at least half of the men and women born into poor families in years when crop yields were low would not have any children during their entire lives. However, almost all of the children in poor families born in bumper crop years would have at least one child.
Rickard and colleagues combined data from 18th century church birth records and agricultural crop yields of rye and barley from the same time and place.
The study, published online in Ecology, suggested lack of food during prenatal or early postnatal life may limit reproductive system development.