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The Doctors discuss what sounds like a fascinating finding, but is really a headline that should be taken with a grain of salt; if a baby looks more like their dad, he or she might be healthier. This was the finding of a not-so-great study, according to dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra.
The study was conducted using infants living with single moms. The premise was that the dads were more likely to spend time with the babies who resembled them, which was a factor improving the kid's well-being. Dr. Batra points out that the study only asked the single moms if they thought the baby looked more like the father and then asked how much time he spent with the child. A year later, the mothers were then surveyed on how healthy their child was.
The fathers were never polled and they never accounted for the fact that the father may have spent less time with the kid if they had health issues.
"I don't know if we can really just run with the headline, even though it's cool, there may be some evolutionary bias in it, but I'm not sure I totally agree with this," Dr. Batra says.
The Doctors point out the takeaway is spending time with your child is important for his or her health. Family medicine physician Dr. Mike Varshavski says the better headline would be, "A proper family unit where both parents, whether they're both moms and dads, or moms and moms, or dads and dads, if they help with their children and spend time with them, we see better results."