Infants' Diet Affects Their IQ by Age Eight, Say Researchers

Recent study from the University of Adelaide found that infants' early diet can make a noticeable difference in IQ.

A recent study from the University of Adelaide found that infants' early diet can make a noticeable difference in IQ by the time they turn eight. Looking at more than 7,000 children and comparing a range of dietary patterns, including traditional and contemporary home-prepared food, ready-prepared baby foods, breastfeeding, and processed or junk foods, the researchers found that children fed healthy diets may have a slightly higher IQ, and those eating more junk food may have a slightly reduced IQ.

"This finding is unsurprising, since diet supplies nutrients needed for the development of the brain," say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new books TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH) and The TurboCharged Mind (January 2012, BSH). "In the study, children who were breastfed at six months followed by a healthy diet regularly including fruit, vegetables, legumes and cheese showed an IQ up to two points higher by age eight."

"The researchers also found the children who ate a diet regularly involving biscuits, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks and chips in the first two years of life had an IQ up to two points lower by the same age," adds Tom. "Although the differences are not huge, this study reinforces the importance of diet, especially in our formative years. A healthy mother's breast milk will never be replaced as the ideal baby food. Studies have shown that it should be continued for at least two years for maximum benefit. This should be a major factor to consider in parental planning."


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