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Gingersnap
02-08-2011, 01:18 PM
08 February 2011 - 00H35

Junk food diet linked to lower IQ - study

Toddlers who have a diet high in processed foods may have a slightly lower IQ in later life, according to a British study described as the biggest research of its kind.

AFP - Toddlers who have a diet high in processed foods may have a slightly lower IQ in later life, according to a British study described as the biggest research of its kind.

The conclusion, published on Monday, comes from a long-term investigation into 14,000 people born in western England in 1991 and 1992 whose health and well-being were monitored at the ages of three, four, seven and eight and a half.

Parents of the children were asked to fill out questionnaires that, among other things, detailed the kind of food and drink their children consumed.

Three dietary patterns emerged: one was high in processed fats and sugar; then there was a "traditional" diet high in meat and vegetables; and finally a "health-conscious" diet with lots of salad, fruit and vegetables, pasta and rice.

When the children were eight and a half, their IQ was measured using a standard tool called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale.

Of the 4,000 children for which there were complete data, there was a significant difference in IQ among those who had had the "processed" as opposed to the "health-conscious" diets in early childhood.

The 20 percent of children who ate the most processed food had an average IQ of 101 points, compared with 106 for the 20 percent of children who ate the most "health-conscious" food.

"It's a very small difference, it's not a vast difference," said one of the authors, Pauline Emmett of the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol.

"But it does make them less able to cope with education, less able to cope with some of the things in life."

The association between IQ and nutrition is a strongly debated issue because it can be skewed by many factors, including economic and social background.

A middle-class family, for instance, may arguably be more keen (or more financially able) to put a healthier meal on the table, or be pushier about stimulating their child, compared to a poorer household.

Emmett said the team took special care to filter out such confounders.

I'm still trying to find the paper this came from. If accurately reported, there are a few puzzling things here. Firstly, the 'meat and potatoes' diet effects are not mentioned. Since the popular science press will do just about anything to discourage meat-eating, I'm guessing the I.Q. scores for the meat-eaters were the same as the 'healthy food' group, otherwise it would have been mentioned.

Secondly, an I.Q. score of 100 is average. The junk food people weren't particularly dumb, they were average. 106 is not exactly rocket-scientist territory by any means. The practical difference between I.Q. scores of 100 and 106 are so insignificant that any environmental or psychological factor would completely erase them.

Lastly, the idea that the researchers were able to control for vague inputs like household "stimulation" or whatever is completely laughable in this type of study.

I'm pro-veggie and anti-processed food (on a personal level) but this study looks like an excellent example of the really bad science we see in nutrition every single day.

France 24 (http://www.france24.com/en/20110208-junk-food-diet-linked-lower-iq-study)

noonwitch
02-08-2011, 03:35 PM
I saw a story on the local news that featured a study that connected ADHD with a diet high in junk food, something that most people have suspected for a while. ADHD can also negatively affect the IQ testing process, as even a highly intelligent kid with ADHD will have problems focusing on the testing process.


100 is average, but I've seen kids in the range of 95-105 do pretty well in community college vocational training programs. I even had a girl who succeeded in an LPN program who scored low (around 97) on her IQ test (but scored well on her ACT). She had strong math and science abilities, but was weak in the verbal areas that were tested. The relative weaknesses and strengths on the subtests can be more important than the IQ score itself.

Rockntractor
02-08-2011, 03:38 PM
Like I have the time to read all that crap!:rolleyes:

Gingersnap
02-08-2011, 03:49 PM
I saw a story on the local news that featured a study that connected ADHD with a diet high in junk food, something that most people have suspected for a while. ADHD can also negatively affect the IQ testing process, as even a highly intelligent kid with ADHD will have problems focusing on the testing process.


100 is average, but I've seen kids in the range of 95-105 do pretty well in community college vocational training programs. I even had a girl who succeeded in an LPN program who scored low (around 97) on her IQ test (but scored well on her ACT). She had strong math and science abilities, but was weak in the verbal areas that were tested. The relative weaknesses and strengths on the subtests can be more important than the IQ score itself.

Average I.Q. people should have no special problems in high school academics, interpersonal relationships, or job responsibilities for jobs that do not require algebra (or higher) math or detailed planning skills.

A large number of people overestimate their own I.Q. score, particularly if they have gone to college. :cool:

noonwitch
02-08-2011, 04:31 PM
Average I.Q. people should have no special problems in high school academics, interpersonal relationships, or job responsibilities for jobs that do not require algebra (or higher) math or detailed planning skills.

A large number of people overestimate their own I.Q. score, particularly if they have gone to college. :cool:



I dated a guy who once told me he had a 160 IQ. I asked him for the documents to prove it, so he gave me a copy of a score. I told him "obviously you have dyslexia, because this reads 106".

My mom had me and my siblings tested before we started kindergarten (because she had a need to know just how special we were). She always told us that my sister and I tested in the 120s and my brother was over 135. I've taken a few tests, on-line and by peers preparing for the master's degree in psych, and the score is consistently between 120 and 125. I still can't do Algebra, though, so I suspect the test gives more weight to reading comprehension than it does to math abilities.

malloc
02-08-2011, 04:47 PM
I've been given several of those IQ tests from grade school on up through high school as a requirement to remain in the accelerated learning (i.e. "resource" or "gifted") programs. I'm not going to list my actual scores, I'll just suffice it to say that they are pretty high. I scored a 91 on the USAF's Electronics and Data Processing Test, which is very similar to all those IQ tests I'd taken before with a different grading scale. A score of 91 on the EDPT would allow anyone to become a linguist or cryptographer.



I've taken a few tests, on-line and by peers preparing for the master's degree in psych, and the score is consistently between 120 and 125. I still can't do Algebra, though, so I suspect the test gives more weight to reading comprehension than it does to math abilities.

With all that being said, it's my understanding that IQ doesn't necessarily limit what you can learn or what direction you can go, but it does dictate how effective you will be with what you do know. So having a lower than genius IQ shouldn't stop anyone from learning algebra, geometry or calculus, but it might have an impact on how quickly one can understand the concepts and how effectively they can apply those concepts to real world problems. So having an average IQ doesn't mean that someone can't go to college or won't ever get a doctorate, it just means that gaining understanding of the concepts won't come as easy to that person, and that person may not recognize a pattern where a particular concept would fit.

Gingersnap
02-08-2011, 05:42 PM
So having an average IQ doesn't mean that someone can't go to college or won't ever get a doctorate, it just means that gaining understanding of the concepts won't come as easy to that person, and that person may not recognize a pattern where a particular concept would fit.

Right. I.Q. tests don't measure math skills, they measure skills relating to logic and relationships that make acquiring math much easier. Same thing for language ability.

That said, you would have to be tremendously motivated to master college level calculus or advanced statistics with an average I.Q. Which explains so much about the Humanities.

:D

malloc
02-08-2011, 06:39 PM
Right. I.Q. tests don't measure math skills, they measure skills relating to logic and relationships that make acquiring math much easier. Same thing for language ability.

That said, you would have to be tremendously motivated to master college level calculus or advanced statistics with an average I.Q. Which explains so much about the Humanities.

:D

I suppose you are right. I always had a high level of motivation for this kind of stuff because it's challenging to me. The only times I ever started slipping during schooling was when the material got boring or redundant. That's when I just kind of tuned out, but as long as the material was challenging, I'd work at it. I guess there are people who are exactly the opposite. When something gets a little over their head they lose interest. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, I'm just saying maybe some people are wired differently.