Personal question: did you look more like your mom or more like your dad when you were born? Well, if you looked more like your dad, then chances are you were a healthier baby than if you had resembled your mother. Sure, it might sound like the epitome of an “old wives tale,” but there is actually plenty of scientific research to back up this idea.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Health Economics, researchers followed a whopping 715 parents over a one-year span, interviewing the parents directly after birth, then again at the year mark. As it turns out, the dads whose facial features, in particular, resembled those of their babies spent 2.5 days per month with their babies more than those dads whose kid didn’t look as much like him.

Disturbing, right?!

So, why in the heck does this phenomenon occur, anyway? Well, researchers think that the instinct is entirely a primal one; fathers whose children closely resemble them are more confident that the child is, in fact, “theirs.”

Yep, disturbing indeed! With all of the technology available to us today, we’re surprised that the question of paternity is something that is even in the deep recesses of a father’s mind anymore. After all, if they don’t want to pay the hundred bucks it takes to get a test done, they could always just call good old Maury Povich to put the question to rest once and for all!

But, we digress…

Even though the results from this study are as mystifying as they are horrifying, there is somewhat of a silver lining that comes with it. You see, the results prove one thing and one thing only–babies who spend ample time with their daddies are healthier than their counterparts. This means that the precious time that we spend with our little ones has a positive effect on their overall health.

In fact, the results of the study showed that the kiddos of these hands-on dads had first years that were relatively smooth. This select group suffered from fewer asthma attacks, illness-induced doctors appointments, and emergency room visits.

Like we said, it’s slightly disturbing to consider that a loving father would spend less time with his baby because of some bizarre primal instinct, but it’s good for expectant dads to be aware of this potential trap. So, guys, if your bouncing babe doesn’t have your perfect bone structure or baby blues, still do your part to spend as much time with that kid as possible. Their good health just may depend on it!

To learn more about this important finding and to see images of some famous fathers in action, be sure to watch the video below!

We’d love to hear your take on the shocking findings of this study. Are you surprised to hear that babies are healthier when they spend more time with their dads? Do you feel that your father paid more attention to you because you resemble him? Which parent do your kids look like?