This article has been retracted. See Volume 16, Issue 2, page 111 for an explanation.
Original research article
Why are human newborns so fat? Relationship between fatness and brain size at birth [retracted article] †
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 24–30, January/February 2004
How to Cite
Correia, H. R., Balseiro, S. C., Correia, E. R., Mota, P. G. and De Areia, M. L. (2004), Why are human newborns so fat? Relationship between fatness and brain size at birth [retracted article] . Am. J. Hum. Biol., 16: 24–30. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.10233
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2003
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 AUG 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 21 AUG 2003
- Manuscript Received: 29 APR 2003
The plumpness of the human newborn has long been recognized as a trait in need of explanation among researchers. Using a linear regression analysis, we find that head circumference is significantly and positively associated with BMI at birth, after gestational age and birthlength were controlled for, in a sample of 1,069 healthy liveborn routinely delivered at the University Hospital of Coimbra (partial correlation r = 0.409, P < 0.0001). This significant association is consistent with the idea that newborn fatness is related to the higher need of lipids in newborn humans as an energetic and plastic substrate during its accelerated brain growth period. As birthweight and birth head size are associated with head size and cognitive abilities in childhood and adult life, it could be postulated that these cognitive abilities could have acted as selective pressure responsible for the newborn fatness increase in our lineage. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 16:24–30, 2004. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.