Unhappy Meal? Junk Food Lowers Children’s IQ
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09 February 2011
It’s a research which may anger many busy parents who rely on processed foods to placate kids – eating junk food lowers a child’s IQ.
Researchers in Britain have carried out the study of 4,000 kids and found that those under the age of four eating a diet of processed food, fat and sugar have lower brain power at eight–and–a–half years. Their IQ fell by 1.67 for every increase on a chart which reflected how much processed fat they ate. And the damage could not be reversed – as diet at the ages of four and seven had no affect on IQ scores.
In the study spanning several years, the researchers at Bristol University monitored the diet of kids at age three, four, seven and eight–and–ahalf years, the Sun reported.
Kate Northstone, who led the research at Bristol University, said: "In this population of contemporary British children, a poor diet, associated with increased intake of processed foods, fat and sugar in early childhood may be associated with lower IQ at the age of 8.5 years.
"In addition, a healthy diet may be associated with higher IQ. It is possible that good nutrition during this period may encourage optimal brain growth."
But she added: "Further research is required to help determine the true effects of early diet on intelligence." Barbara Gallani, of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "It isn’t surprising that a healthy, balanced diet is important in IQ development – just like it is generally for children’s health and growth. We believe it is important for everyone to eat a wide variety of foods. It’s possible to eat a healthy diet and still include some treat foods."