Study: Kids on Junk Food Diets Have Lower IQs
Healthy diets build healthy kids, right? Apparently, a good diet builds a healthy brain as well. According to France 24 International News, toddlers who eat a diet high in processed foods and sugars may have a slightly lower IQ later in life, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
This is the largest study of its kind ever done and it included nearly 14,000 kids born in Western England between 1991 and 1992. The information was gathered by asking parents to fill out a detailed form which included their child's diet. Three diet "patterns" were included in the list. One outlined kids who ate a diet heavy on processed foods, another was a more traditional diet with meats and vegetables, and the third was a "health conscious" diet high in fruits, vegetables, pastas, and rice.
According to the story:
Of the 4,000 children for which there were complete data, there was a significant difference in IQ among those who had had the "processed" as opposed to the "health-conscious" diets in early childhood. The 20 percent of children who ate the most processed food had an average IQ of 101 points, compared with 106 for the 20 percent of children who ate the most "health-conscious" food.
One of the study authors Pauline Emmett commented that though the IQ difference was small, it was apparent that a child's diet impacted their ability to cope with education and life.
"We have controlled for maternal education, for maternal social class, age, whether they live in council housing, life events, anything going wrong, the home environment, with books and use of television and things like that," she said.
When asked why the difference occurred, Emmett contended that it was likely a lack of certain crucial nutrients important for healthy growth.
Feed Your Child's Intelligence
In order for your kids to be able to learn and to stay focused throughout the day, it's important that they eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet. Start your kids off with a healthy breakfast maybe homemade granola or a granola bar to go along with fruit and yogurt.
And while many school lunches are getting healthier thanks to the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, consider packing their lunches so you can ensure good choices. Consider a peanut butter and local honey sandwich on whole wheat bread with cut up fruits and vegetables. And most importantly, eat dinner as a family each night. This way you can ensure you're doing your part to feed your child's IQ.