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25 April 2024

A recent study: Your child's facial features are determined by your diet

By E247

A recent study has revealed that the facial features of each individual may have been influenced by what their mother consumed during pregnancy. Diets rich in protein led to larger noses and wider jaws, as increased protein consumption during pregnancy made these genes, known as "mTORC1," more active.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, linked maternal protein levels to genetic activity, specifically the mTORC1 genes, which affected the "facial skeletal shape of fetuses," according to the authors.

They found that protein-rich diets resulted in distinct facial features - such as stronger jawlines and larger noses - while following a low-protein diet led to leaner and more refined features, according to the New York Post.

In short, a mother's diet can "shape" facial features - such as the shape and size of the nose or jaw - for her children.

For the study, an international team of researchers observed pregnant mice and genetically modified zebrafish that were fed varying levels of nutritionally diverse diets.

Previous studies have linked maternal diets to the health outcomes of children.

For instance, plant-based diets have been associated with lower birth weights.

One study, published earlier this year, found that children born to overweight mothers were more prone to increased birth weight and were at an increased risk of metabolic conditions - such as fatty liver disease - later in life.

Another study found that mothers who consume ultra-processed foods - which have been linked to a range of negative health consequences - may transmit potentially harmful chemicals found in fast food to their fetuses.