Australian researchers have found that children who eat a healthy diet score higher on IQ tests than kids who eat junk food.
As parents, we always want to give our kids the best chance in life. A recent study by researchers at the University of Adelaide shows that boosting our kids’ IQ may be as easy as feeding them a healthy diet rather than junk food.
Researchers studied the dietary patterns of more than 7,000 children during the first two years of life. They compared traditional and contemporary home-prepared food, commercial baby food, breastfeeding, and junk food.
"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," Dr. Lisa Smithers says.
Children’s diets were examined at six months, 15 months, and 24 months, and their IQ was measured at eight years of age.
Healthy diet = higher IQ
Children who were breastfed at six months and at 15 and 24 months ate a healthy diet, including fruit, vegetables, legumes, and cheese, scored two points higher on IQ tests when they were eight years old.
A diet that regularly included junk food, such as biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, and chips during the first two years of a child’s life lowered IQ by up to two points.
Although the difference isn’t huge, by any means, this study does provide food for thought. What we feed our kids does have a long-term impact—on their bodies and brains.