Babies who look like their dads are more likely to be healthy, according to a new study

  • New research has found that babies who spend more time with their fathers are healthier one year later.
  • If the baby resembles their dad, then they are more likely to spend time together.
  • The researchers suggest it could be something to do with certainty over their paternity.


Sometimes, research reminds us of how our decisions can be inherently biological. For example, new research has just found that when a newborn looks like its father, they are more likely to spend time together.

This has an impact on the child, as the study found babies who spend more time with their dads were healthier on their first birthday.

The study, published in the Journal of Health Economics, looked at 715 families in which babies lived with their mother. Babies who resembled their fathers were found to be healthier one year later, and the researchers believe this is because these fathers spent an average 2.5 more days per month with their child than fathers who didn't resemble their offspring as much.

RELATED: Celeb dads 

31 PHOTOS
Celebrity dads with extremely hot sons
See Gallery
Celebrity dads with extremely hot sons

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick.

(Getty)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick.

(Getty)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick.

(Getty)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick.

(Getty)

Jude Law and his model son, Rafferty.

(Getty)

British model and musician Rafferty Law

(Getty)

Jack Nicholson (L) and his son, Ray. The two are often seen courtside at Lakers games.

(Getty)

Jack Nicholson (L) and his son, Ray.

(Getty)

Jack Nicholson (L) and his son, Ray.

(Getty)

Jack Nicholson (L) and his son, Ray.

(Getty)

Will Smith and his son, Trey.

(Getty)

Will Smith and his son, Trey.

(Getty)

Will Smith and his son, Trey.

(Getty)

Will Smith and his son, Trey.

(Getty)

Don Johnson and his son, Jesse.

(Getty)

Don Johnson, wife Kelley Phleger and son Jesse Johnson.

(Getty)

Don Johnson and his son, Jesse.

(Getty)

Alexander Skarsgard, Stellan Skarsgard and Bill Skarsgard (L-R). Their dad, Stellan, is in the middle.

(Getty)

Actor Alexander Skarsgard

(Getty)

Actor Bill Skarsgard

(Getty)

Pierce Brosnan and his son, Sean.

(Getty)

Pierce Brosnan and his son, Sean.

(Getty)

Pierce Brosnan and his son, Sean.

(Getty)

Donald Sutherland and his son, Rossif.

(Getty)

Donald Sutherland and his son, Rossif.

(Getty)

Donald Sutherland and his son, Rossif.

(Getty)

James Caan and his son, Scott.

(Getty)

Dennis Quaid and his son, Jack.

(Getty)

Dennis Quaid and his son, Jack.

(Getty)

Francesca Eastwood, Clint Eastwood and Scott Eastwood.

(Getty)

Clint Eastwood and his son, Scott.

(Getty)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

This extra dad-time resulted in better health, with fewer asthma attacks and fewer health care visits for illness. According to Solomon Polachek, economics professor at Binghamton University and co-author of the study, fathers who thought their baby resembled them are more certain of their paternity, and so spend more time with them.

"The main explanation is that frequent father visits allow for greater parental time for care-giving and supervision, and for information gathering about child health and economic needs," he said. "It's been said that 'it takes a village' but my coauthor, Marlon Tracey, and I find that having an involved father certainly helps."

Previous research supports the theory that parents who are genetically related to their children can invest in them more. For example, a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior in 2009, found that overall, stepchildren and adopted children are neglected more than biological children.

This area of research shows the importance of encouraging absent fathers to spend more time with their babies, the researchers said.

"Few can disagree that single-parent households tend to fall at the bottom of the distribution," they wrote in the study. "Further, children in these households are at a disadvantage, which likely affects them throughout their lives."

RELATED: Celebrities as babies 

19 PHOTOS
Celebrities as babies
See Gallery
Celebrities as babies

ELLEN DEGENERES

Who knew this little cherub would turn into everyone’s favorite talk show host prankster?

Photo: PureWow

GEORGE CLOONEY

Speaking of legendary pranksters… This one started out young.

Photo: PureWow

LEONARDO DICAPRIO

Far less brooding 40 years ago.

Photo: PureWow

BEYONCÉ

Who run the world? Curls.

Photo: PureWow

JUSTIN BIEBER

Is it too late now to say sorry (for this sweatshirt)?

RELATED: 29 Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Related

Photo: PureWow

SOFIA VERGARA

Blonde...who knew?

Photo: PureWow

JOHN LEGEND

Soon enough he’s gonna have one of these, too.

Photo: PureWow

AMY SCHUMER

She still makes this very face.

Photo: PureWow

KATE MIDDLETON

Little duchesses gotta start somewhere.

RELATED: Kate Middleton's Family Vacation Photos Are Just As Awkward (and Heartwarming) As Yours

Photo: Getty Images

LENA DUNHAM

Feminist in the making.

Photo: PureWow

KANYE WEST

You, little angel, will one day discover Twitter.

Photo: PureWow

JENNIFER ANISTON

Always the fashion plate.

Photo: PureWow

JAMES FRANCO

Don't worry, buddy: You'll meet Seth Rogan in a few decades.

Photo: PureWow

STEVEN TYLER

Kind of never not cheesin'.

Photo: PureWow

SUSAN SARANDON

Forever young.

Photo: PureWow

MERYL STREEP

You'd be excited, too, if you were destined to be one of the best actresses in the world.

Photo: PureWow

BRAD PITT

Well, he certainly grew into himself.

Photo: PureWow

BARBRA STREISAND

A real jack-of-all-trades since childhood.

Photo: PureWow

MADONNA

Costume inspirations in the making.

Photo: PureWow

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

NOW WATCH: FACEBOOK COFOUNDER: How I negotiated with Mark Zuckerberg for a $500 million stake

See Also:

SEE ALSO: Stubborn children could grow up to be richer — here's why

Read Full Story