Babies who are given nutritious food during infancy earn better as adults, suggests a new study by American scientists.
There is widespread evidence that the babies of economically well-off parents grow stronger and tend to be richer than those of the poor although the reasons why this happens are complex. Food, schooling, economic environment and social services provided by government all play a role.
A new three-decade study of male villagers in Guatemala found that those who were fed nutritious food up to the age of three were earning nearly 50 percent more per hour than the other villagers, reported the online edition of BBC News.
The finding of the study by researchers from US's International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is the first direct evidence of a clear link between early-life nutrition and adult wages, and that feeding babies well could drive economic growth.
Researchers said girls in Guatemala did not have similar wage differentials when they grew up, possibly because they had less choice about where they worked.