Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Is Bad Food Making Your Kids Dumb?

Will eating all that processed food end up lowering your toddler's IQ? A new study seems to think so.

Kids Cereals

Photo: cafemama (flickr)

According to a new study, kids who eat a lot of processed foods are more likely to have a lower IQ.

Smart Food, Dumb Food

A new study has found that toddlers who eat foods that are highly processed as well as foods high in fat and sugar are more likely to have a lower IQ than those children who have a more nutritious diet.

Researchers from England and Canada asked parents to fill out questionnaires, at ages three, four, seven and eight and a half, based on how much and how many times their kids were fed junk food.

Based on the responses, the researchers found that children who ate fatty and sugary foods at age three had a lower IQ at age eight-and-a-half than children who ate healthier foods; every one-point increase in a child’s processed fat intake was associated with a 1.67-point fall in IQ.

Too Late To Change?

A child’s brain grows the fastest during its first three years, and according to the report, it’s possible good nutrition during this period may encourage optimal brain growth.

Researchers also found that the diet during the first three years is the most important, because toddlers’ diets could change IQ levels later in childhood, even if eating habits improve with age.

“This suggests that any cognitive/behavioral effects relating to eating habits in early childhood may well persist into later childhood, despite any subsequent changes to dietary intake,” the authors wrote.

Even though the study only found an association and not a direct cause and effect, this study sheds light on the importance of feeding kids a nutritious diet.

Read More:

  • Poor diets may lower children’s IQ (Guardian)
  • Do Fatty, Processed Foods Lower Children’s IQ? (ABCNews)
Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson is a sophomore at IU majoring in journalism and Spanish. Currently she lives in Bloomington, IN but is originally from Indianapolis. She enjoys cooking, eating and sometimes exercising.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media