According to a study published online yesterday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), diet in the first three years of life has an influence on intelligence levels at age 8½.
Interestingly, the ALSPAC data suggests that an improved diet between ages four and seven won’t counter the earlier, poor eating. (But that doesn’t mean we should let our kids eat crap; click here for an article linking school lunches with obesity.)
The study’s conclusion:
"There is evidence that a poor diet associated with high fat, sugar and processed food content in early childhood may be associated with small reductions in IQ in later childhood, while a healthy diet, associated with high intakes of nutrient rich foods . . . may be associated with small increases in IQ."I guess more than just marketing helps our kids think “froot” is a correctly spelled word.
(Note: ALSPAC, according to its website, “is one of the most important long-term health research projects ever undertaken. Over 14,000 mothers agreed to take part during their pregnancies in 1991 and 1992, and the study has followed the health and development of their children ever since.”)