A study was recently published that concluded processed food linked to lower kids’ IQs. This is something I am concerned about, aren’t you? It makes sense. Our kids’ brains are in such a developmental state during these years.
If a 3-year-old eats too much processed food, it might lower his or her IQ by the age of 8, a new study suggests. Researchers in Britain tracked what 14,000 children ate and drank at the ages of 3, 4, 7, and 8.5 years of age, by asking parents to complete questionnaires detailing their child’s diet.
The study authors suggest their study found some evidence that when 3-year-old children eat a diet rich in foods that are high in fat, high in sugar and are processed, their IQ may find a small decrease in their IQ five years later. On the flip side, this new study suggests eating a healthy, nutrient rich diet may be associated with a small increase in IQ.
The study authors note that in this paper “we report weak but novel associations between dietary patterns in early childhood…with general intelligence assessed at 8.5 years of age.” Their research also suggests that what a child eats in the first three years of life is associated with a modest decrease in intelligence, but what a child ate at age 4 and 7 did not.
Dr. Sandra Hassink, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Obesity Leadership Workgroup, agrees with the study authors that “these are weak and novel associations,” which means it doesn’t actually prove that a diet of processed food causes a lower IQ. Hassink says there are “so many variables in a child’s life,” which makes it very difficult to tease out what exactly is leading to a drop in IQ assessments. She says that for a pediatrician, what happens early in a child’s development is very important and that this study is a reminder that all the environmental influences on early childhood need further study.
Until more research is available, Hassink says, the AAP recommends giving your child a healthy diet; reading to your child, having family routines and structure and lots of physical activity all contribute to the healthy development of children.
For further info, this study was shown in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
In our family, we have a special regimen. We believe that supplementing with the best vitamins is also KEY! Feel free to contact me with your questions. I would be happy to help you create a new pattern for your children. We are working on getting more recipes up to help you replace the processed foods that are so readily available. Keep checking our blog for those Healthy Kid Recipes!
Welcome your children into the kitchen! Let them touch the real foods you’re eating together. Enjoy the time together and educate them on the goodness they are consuming!