File this one under “Take What You Read With a Large Grain of Salt.”
A study published by the Journal of Health Economics claims that babies who look more like their fathers tend to be healthier than babies who don’t resemble their fathers as closely. Seems a little too good — and simple — to be true, right? Right.
Now before all you dads run off toward your man caves triumphantly pumping your fists in the air, there’s more to it than that. The study looked at infants living with single mothers over the course of a year and found that when a father thought his offspring looked like him, he spent more time with him, which, all narcissism aside, is good for the baby no matter what.
“Fathers are important in raising a child, and it manifests itself in the health of the child,” Solomon Polachek, a professor at New York’s Binghamton University said.
Dr. Polachek, who happens to be one of the authors of the study, added, “Those fathers that perceive the baby’s resemblance to them are more certain the baby is theirs, and thus spend more time with the baby.”
The study also found that fathers who thought their babies looked like them spent an average of 2.5 more days (wow, can someone get these guys some parenting medals?) with their children.
So just to be clear — just because your child resembles his or her father doesn’t automatically mean the child is healthier. Fathers should have some type of active role in their babies’ lives for this to mean something; having dad’s eyes and nose just isn’t enough!
You can check out the video below to hear The Doctors’ take on the study and its findings.
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