Junk Food Lowers your Child’s IQ

According to the Sun newspaper;  scientists have confirmed that junk foods lower the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) in children- which is something junk food campaigners have known all along.

The Sun - Junk FoodA study conducted on 400 children showed that kids under the age of four who eat processed foods, fats, and sugar have lower brain power by the time they are eight and a half years old.

With every increased portion of processed foods that they had, their IQ dropped by 1.67 points.

Even more disconcerting was the fact that this damage was irreversible, since the diet followed between the ages of 4 and 7 did not change the IQ score.

On the other hand, the study showed that if kids ate a regular diet of meat and fish, their IQ scores could increase by 1.2 points. These findings are significant because it is known that the brain of a child grows significantly in the first 3 years.

This study that was led by Dr. Kate Northstone of Bristol University stated that a processed food diet with a high intake of fat and sugar in the early years can be associated with a lower IQ by the time a child is 8 and a half years of age.

However, she also added that further research was necessary to determine the effects of such a diet on intelligence. It is felt that adequate nutrition replete with the required vitamins and minerals may help in optimum brain growth and development.

Barbara Gallani of the Food and Drink Federation feels that the results are not surprising, and that a balanced diet helps in IQ development just as it does for general growth and development too. Gallani quoted, “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.”

The study does give a lot of impetus for health food campaigners like ‘Naked Chef’ Jamie Oliver who are crusading for healthy school lunches. However, the same results may irk busy parents who do not have time to fix a meal and often rely on processed foods to feed their kids.