Thursday, 10 February 2011

Junk Food Lowers Children's IQ, Bristol Univerity Study Reveals

Children who eat more chips, crisps, biscuits and pizza before the age of three have a lower IQ five years later, a study showed.
The study, based on findings from the Chidren of the 90s project, found that youngsters who were eating foods that were high in fats, sugars, and processed foods as three-year-olds had a lower IQ in tests when they were eight-and-a- half years old.
The difference could be as much as five IQ points compared with children given healthier diets with fruit, vegetables and home-cooked food.
But even if their diet improves, it could be too late as the ill-effects can persist for a lifetime.

The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), which has been tracking the long- term health and well-being of around 14,000 children born in 1991 and 1992, asked parents to fill in questionnaires about the diet of youngsters at the ages of three, four, seven and eight and a half.
This is the first study to suggest a direct link between the diet of young children and their brainpower in later life.
The project at Bristol University took account of factors such as social class, breastfeeding and maternal education and age.
Researchers also allowed for the influence of the home environment, for example a child’s access to toys and books.
They said good nutrition was crucial in the first three years of life when the brain grows at its fastest rate.
Young children eating a diet packed with fats, sugar and processed foods consume too few vitamins and nutrients, which means their brains never grow to optimal levels.

Dr Kate Northstone and Dr Pauline Emmet, of Bristol University's department of social medicine, said: "This suggests that any cognitive/behavioural effects relating to eating habits in early childhood may well persist into later childhood, despite any subsequent changes (including improvements) to dietary intake.
"It is possible that good nutrition during this period may encourage optimal brain growth."

No comments:

Post a Comment