Category Archives: children
Children with healthier diets are smarter, research proves
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Most parents want to do whatever they can to ensure they give their children every advantage and opportunity to succeed in life. According to new research, that also includes making sure they have a healthy diet.
According to a new study led by University of Adelaide, public health researcher, Dr. Lisa Smithers in Australia, children fed healthier diets early on have slightly higher IQs, while those with heavier junk food diets have slightly lower IQs.
“Diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life, and the aim of this study was to look at what impact diet would have on children’s IQs,” Smithers said.
Researchers compared a range of dietary habits from more than 7,000 children, including traditionally prepared food at home, pre-prepared baby foods, breastfeeding and “discretionary,” or junk foods. They looked at a link between the eating habits of children at six months, 15 months and two years, and their IQ at eight years of age.
Breastfeeding also helps
“We found that children who were breastfed at six months and had a healthy diet regularly including foods such as legumes, cheese, fruit and vegetables at 15 and 24 months, had an IQ up to two points higher by age eight,” said Smithers.
“Those children who had a diet regularly involving biscuits, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks and chips in the first two years of life had IQs up to two points lower by age eight,” she added. “We also found some negative impact on IQ from ready-prepared baby foods given at six months, but some positive associations when given at 24 months.”
She went onto say that the study reinforced the need for parents to ensure their children eat right at an early age, to aid in their physical and mental development.
“While the differences in IQ are not huge, this study provides some of the strongest evidence to date that dietary patterns from six to 24 months have a small but significant effect on IQ at eight years of age,” Smithers said. “It is important that we consider the longer-term impact of the foods we feed our children.”
More on higher IQs
Along these lines, a separate study found that children with higher IQs at age 10 tended to become vegetarians by the time they reach 30.
The results of that study, published in the British Medical Journal, involved a study of 8,179 men and women. Researchers found that 366 (4.5 percent) of them said they were vegetarian, and of those, nine (2.5 percent) were vegan while 123 (33.6 percent) said they were vegetarian but ate fish or chicken.
On average, vegetarians had a higher childhood IQ score than non-vegetarians, said Britain’s Metro newspaper.
“Vegetarians were more likely to be female, to be of higher social class (both in childhood and currently), and to have attained higher academic or vocational qualifications, although these socioeconomic advantages were not reflected in their income,” the researchers said.
“Higher IQ at age 10 years was associated with an increased likelihood of being vegetarian at age 30,” they added. “IQ remained a statistically significant predictor of being vegetarian as an adult after adjustment for social class, academic or vocational qualifications, and sex.”
They concluded: “Our finding that children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults, coupled with the evidence on the potential benefits to cardiovascular health of a vegetarian diet, may help to explain why higher IQ in childhood or adolescence is linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease in adult life.”
by Eric Hunter
(NaturalNews) Children who are breastfed and eat healthy foods during childhood experience better physical development than children who eat poor diets. It has also been speculated that the consumption of quality foods leads to a higher IQ, but few long-term studies have been done until now. Researchers at the University of Adelaide looked at the link between eating habits and IQ.
The study of more than 7,000 children showed that kids who are breastfed and have a healthy diet during the first two years of life, have a slightly better IQ at the age of eight than children who are eating junk foods.
Children who were eating a diet based on legumes, cheese, fruits and vegetables had a two point higher IQ at the age of eight. Kids who ate mostly processed foods and food with a high-carbohydrate density, experienced two points lower IQ.
Although there was only a small difference in IQ, it can be assumed that a more controlled study would have led to significantly better improvements. The healthy children in this study were definitely eating more nutritious foods than the unhealthy group, but they were still consuming a fair amount of typical western foods. Also, the study only looked at the diet at 12 and 24 months, not the remaining six years up until age eight.
It’s well established that children who are breastfed develop a healthier gut flora and better immune system than children who are given formula and ready-prepared baby foods. The research at theUniversity of Adelaide reveals that breastfeeding also can positively affects the IQ of the child.
This study shows that children who consume mostly whole foods during the first years of life have a slightly higher IQ when they grow up. Children who are not eating western foods and base their diet exclusively on organic whole-foods will most likely have an even higher IQ.
Despite our technological advancements and economic expansion; we are getting dumber and dumber because of poor nutrition. Feeding a growing child processed junk foods directly influences the child’s development and should be considered child abuse.
Sources for this article include
Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty MN, et al. Dietary patterns at 6, 15 and 24months of age are associated with IQ at 8years of age.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;27(7):525-35. Epub 2012 Jul 19.
McDade, T.W., Rutherford J. , Adair, L, et al. Early origins of inflammation: microbial exposures in infancy predict lower levels of C-reactive protein in adulthood
Published online before print December 9, 2009, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2009.1795
About the author:
Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal.
His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects.
Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites.
Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!
Eric is the editor of OrganicFitness.com and GutFlora.com. He’s an independent writer with a strong interest in personal health and the power of nature to help us heal. His entire adult life he’s been studying the underlying causes of disease and how to accomplish optimal health. He’s mostly writing about the human microbiome, inflammation, gut permeability and other health subjects. Eric works as a personal trainer and currently coaches a few dedicated clients on their way to a better physique. He specializes on barbell- , kettlebell- and sprint- training. Subjects like mass building and weight loss are some of his favorites. Eric believes that lifestyle choices have to be made on an evolutionary basis!