Junk food `lowers child`s IQ`

Researchers have found that the IQ of children eating processed food, fell by 1.67.

Last Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 13:21 PM IST

London: It`s a research which may anger many busy parents who rely on processed foods to placate kids-- eating junk food lowers a child`s IQ.

Researchers in Britain have carried out the study of
4,000 kids and found that those under the age of four eating
a diet of processed food, fat and sugar have lower brain power
at eight-and-a-half years.

Their IQ fell by 1.67 for every increase on a
chart which reflected how much processed fat they ate. And the
damage could not be reversed - as diet at the ages of four and
seven had no affect on IQ scores.

In the study spanning several years, the researchers
at Bristol University monitored the diet of kids at age three,
four, seven and eigh-and-a-half years, a newspaper reported.

Dr Kate Northstone, who led the research at Bristol
University, said: "In this population of contemporary British
children, a poor diet, associated with increased intake of
processed foods, fat and sugar in early childhood may be
associated with lower IQ at the age of 8.5 years.

"In addition, a healthy diet may be associated
with higher IQ. It is possible that good nutrition during this
period may encourage optimal brain growth."

But she added: "Further research is required to help
determine the true effects of early diet on intelligence."
Barbara Gallani, of the Food and Drink Federation,
said: "It would not be surprising if a healthy, balanced diet
is important in IQ development - just like it is generally for
children`s health and growth.

"We believe it is important for everyone to eat a
wide variety of foods. It`s possible to eat a healthy diet and
still include some treat foods."

PTI