How To Make Sure You'll Have Tall, Healthy Kids

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Want your children to be taller, smarter and healthier? People whose parents are less genetically related are more likely to be taller, cleverer, and have better health than the offspring of those who are more familiar, according to a recent paper published in Nature.

"It does imply that people who come from very different ancestry would be a bit taller and a bit more cognitively able," Jim Wilson, contributing author and senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, told New Scientist.

Analyzing the genome and genealogy of 350,000 individuals from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, Wilson and his team wanted to explore how variants in genetics could give rise to more desirable traits.

Surprisingly, researchers found no evidential link between having closely related parents and a vast spectrum of characteristics, such as blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels.

However, there was sufficient evidence to suggest a link between having related parents and a decline in height and educational attainment. For instance, researchers found that the children of first cousins were 1.2 centimeters shorter and had 10 months less formal education than more distantly related parents.

[H/T: New Scientist]

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