London - Summer babies might be at a disadvantage when it comes to education because they start school as the youngest in class.
But being born in the warmer months has many physical benefits, researchers say.
A study of British men and women found those who arrived in the summer were heaviest at birth and tended to be the tallest adults. Baby girls with summer birthdays were also likely to be healthier in later life.
It is thought the effects can be explained by the amount of sunshine exposure during pregnancy and in the child’s first few months. Sunlight helps the body make vitamin D – a nutrient credited with a host of health benefits.
Cambridge University scientist John Perry said: “I find it quite amazing that month of birth can affect traits decades later. That seems quite a remarkable thing.”
Dr Perry compared birth weight and adult height of 450 000 people with sunshine levels in the nine months before birth and the first three months of life.
Those with June, July and August birthdays were heavier at birth and taller as adults. Baby girls born in the summer tended to hit puberty later, which is linked to better health in adult life.