Food and Nutrition

Does Bad Diet for Kids Lead to Low IQ?

| by Alex Groberman

From birth, parents embark on a mission to do everything possible to ensure that their babies are healthy, intelligent and well-fed. Apparently, according to a new report by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, what parents feed their children may have an interesting affect on their IQ.

Research indicated that three-year-old kids who ate foods that had excess fat and sugar, as well as processed foods, had a slightly lower IQ by age 8 than their peers who ate in a healthier manner.

To come to their conclusions, scientists studied nearly 4,000 children in Southwest England from their birth until they reached age 8. While performing their research, they requested that parents fill out surveys regarding their babies’ eating habits at the checkpoint ages of  3, 4, 7 and 8 ½.

While processing the results, researchers took into account things that may sway the results like age, sex and family income.

When all was said and done, it was determined that children -- who at age 3 ate foods like fruit, vegetables, rice and pasta -- had a higher IQ at age 8 and a half than those who didn’t.

“We know already that breastfeeding has quite an affect on IQ, so it makes sense that there’s something going on with diet,” said study researcher Kate Northstone, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol in the U.K. “I was surprised that we found this effect at 3 rather than 8. That for me is the interesting point. It was the 3-year-olds and what they ate, rather than, say, at 4, 7, and 8.”

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