According to new research from the University of Adelaide, children who are fed healthy diets in early age may have a slightly higher IQ, while those on heavier junk food diets may have a slightly reduced IQ.
The study - led by University of Adelaide, Public Health researcher Dr Lisa Smithers, looked at the link between the eating habits of children at 6 months, 15 months & 2 years, and their IQ at 8 years of age.
Observing more than 7000 children, the study compared a range of dietary patterns, including traditional and contemporary home-prepared food, ready-prepared baby foods, breastfeeding, and junk foods.
Dr Smithers said, "diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life. "
The aim of this study was to look at what impact diet would have on children's IQs.
"We found that children who were breastfed at six months and had a healthy diet regularly including foods such as legumes, cheese, fruit and vegetables at 15 and 24 months, had an IQ up to two points higher by age eight.
"Those children who had a diet regularly involving biscuits, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks and chips (french fries) in the first 2 years of life had IQs up to two points lower by age 8.
Not that many of you didn't already know it, but this study reinforces the need to provide children with healthy foods at a crucial, formative time in their lives.
24 August 2012