Severe nutritional deprivation during the Dutch famine of 1944/5 markedly reduced the number of conceptions resulting in births. There was a lag period of about two months before fertility was affected: upon the relief of famine, however, recovery was immediate. There was a threshold value for the nutritional effect: above the caloric threshold no definite effect was apparent; below the threshold the estimated number of conceptions resulting in births correlated r = 0.92 with average official daily rations. The reduction in fertility was greater among the manual than among the non-manual occupational classes, and this difference altered the social class composition of the affected birth cohorts. It is inferred from an analysis of maternal age and parity among hospital maternities, and from an analysis of birth order by social class among men inducted into the armed forces at age 19, that there was probably a reduction in fecundity, and possibly in fecundability.
Stein, Zena and Susser, Mervyn
"Fertility, Fecundity, Famine: Food Rations in the Dutch Famine 1944/5 Have a Causal Relation to Fertility, and Probably to Fecundity,"
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol47/iss1/11