Dangers of processed foods include lower IQ in children
We have shared with you our ongoing concerns over the epidemic of nutrition-related illnesses which produce the “D’s”: ADD, ADHD, OCD, BPD (bipolar disorder), ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and the big “D” – diabetes. The epidemic is due to unhealthy lifestyles, not enough exercise, unhealthful attitudes, and unhealthy nutrition including processed foods. It seems as if the dangers of processed foods play a role in almost all of the “D’s.”
So it should not come as a surprise that a new study published this week in Britain’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health states that one of the dangers of processed foods could be lower IQ scores with children, versus those with healthier diets who had higher IQ scores.
Researchers followed nearly 4,000 children in Southwest England from birth through age 8. They asked their parents to fill out detailed questionnaires about their youngsters’ diets at ages 3, 4, 7, and 8 1/2.
Ready-to-eat foods high in fat and sugar were considered to be processed. Healthy diets were considered those associated with high intakes of nutrient rich foods.
After adjusting for other things that may influence intelligence testing, like age, sex, and family income, researchers found that kids who ate diets high in processed foods at age 3 had slightly lower IQ scores by age 8 1/2.
The study also showed children who at age 3 ate what the researchers termed a “healthy diet” high in salad, fruit, vegetables, rice, and pasta had an associated higher IQ at age 8 and a half.
When examining those who ate the most junk food versus those who ate the most nutritious food, the gap was quite significant.
Previous studies have also shown that breastfeeding and early childhood nutrition may play a role in intelligence and brain development. Teach nutrition to your children so they are aware of the dangers of processed foods and can make the right food decisions.