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Father's Ethnic Background Influences Birthweight

Update Date: Jun 30, 2014 10:15 AM EDT

A father's ethnic background has an influence on child's birthweight, a new study has found. 

Previously a team of researchers had concluded that a mother's ethnic background can influence birthweight and this time, same team of researchers have found it true for the fathers as well. 

Birthweight is one of the essential yardsticks used to measure a baby's progress in its first days and weeks after birth. 

According to the study, babies born to a foreign-born mother and a foreign-born father weigh about six percent less than those whose both parents were born in Canada. 

Current birthweight curves--graphs used to plot how one baby's weight compares to others of the same age-assume that the parents are of Western European descent. That means many babies of an East Asian or South Asian mother may be classified as underweight, when in fact they are "normal" for their ethnic groups. The new study shows the same is true when the father is of Asian descent, the press release added.

The study was based on an examination of 692,301 births recorded with Vital Statistics in Ontario between 2002 and 2009. 

The study has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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