Is Your Junk Food Making You Stupid?
It’s high in fat, high in sugar, and oh so tasty. Unfortunately, it’s a terrible burden on your health, and we’ve all known it for years. As if you needed one more reason to take a step back from that bag of chips, though, a new study says this anti-super food will rot your brain as well as your waistline.
Researchers Link Junk Food Diets to IQ in Children Need one more convincing piece of evidence that you have to step away from the sack of super tasty puffed cheese deliciousness laying on your kitchen counter? A new Bristol University study has it. It’s actually making people stupid!
The Basics • Bristol University researchers Dr. Kate Northstone and Dr. Pauline Emmett studied 4000 children over the course of several years. • They discovered that children under age four who ate a diet high in fat, sugar, and processed foods had lower IQs when they reached the age of 8.5. • The drop in IQ shockingly corresponded to the increase of processed food and was not REVERSIBLE!
It’s Just How We Live For years, we’ve all been upping our intake of processed foods, which necessarily include lots of fat and sugar, but these days, there are kids who know nothing else. Because we’re all so busy, some kids eat nothing but processed foods, and with study results like these, it seems like healthy diet and higher IQ may actually go hand in hand. If encouraging optimal brain growth is your goal, keeping your kids away from those chicken nuggets, chips, and sugary drinks is an absolute must.
Are You Sure? It’s probably important to note that Drs. Northstone and Emmett’s findings are not without controversy. Michael Hanlon’s Science Blog disagrees with the researchers’ findings. Don’t worry! Hanlon is not proposing that junk food is good for children, but he tends to disagree with the methods used to reach that conclusion. He pointed out two study flaws: 1. He writes, “Junk food may correlate with low-IQ very well, but may not be the cause.” He suggests that the parents’ IQ may be a much better indicator, but the researchers did not test the parents. 2. Hanlon also pointed out that parents were responsible for reporting on their children’s diet. He suggested that “right-thinking” parents who do care about their children’s diet may “fib on the forms,” when their children eat too much junk food.