Processed Foods Might Lower IQ Levels in Children
A research conducted at the University of Bristol says that fatty and processed foods might lower the IQ levels of children. On the other hand, nutritious diet can boost the level. This is especially true in the first three years of growing up when the development of the brain is rapid. A good diet can encourage brain growth and the cognitive development, the study authors explained.
The study was conducted on about 3,966 children. Their parents answered questions pertaining to their children’s diet at ages 3, 4, 7 and 8.5. The children’s IQ levels were measured. The researchers categorized the diet into three groups; “processed”- loaded with sugar and fats; “traditional”- rich in vegetables and meat and “health conscious”- lots of vegetables, fruits, fish, salads etc. Children who had “processed” diet at 3 had lower IQ when they were 8.5 years. They also noticed 1.67 point decrease in the IQ with every one point increase in the consumption of processed foods. On the other hand, for each one point increase in the healthy diet, 1.2 point increase in the IQ was observed.
Therefore, the foods that we eat have a direct influence on the growth of the brain, its functioning and performance. Thus, parents and children should be encouraged to eat healthy foods. The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.