Children who are born in the summer are more likely to be taller and healthier adults, suggests new research.
The study also revealed that girls born in summer attained puberty later an indication of better health in adult life.
More sunlight, and therefore higher vitamin D exposure, in the second trimester of pregnancy could explain the effect, the researchers said.
“Our results show that the birth month has a measurable effect on development and health, but more work is needed to understand the mechanisms behind this effect,” said lead author of the study John Perry from the University of Cambridge.
The research, involving almost half a million people in Britain, looked at whether the birth month had an effect on birth weight, onset of puberty and adult height.
They found that children who were born in the summer were slightly heavier at birth, taller as adults and went through puberty slightly later than those born in winter months.
The researchers compared the growth and development of around 450,000 men and women from the UK Biobank study, a major national health resource.
The results revealed that babies born in June, July and August were heavier at birth and taller as adults.