Is there any connection between what you eat and how smart you are?

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The association between intelligence and diet at 3.5 and 7 years was examined in 591 children of European descent. Approximately half of the children were born small-for-gestational age (birth weight ≤ 10th percentile). The relationship between IQ and diet (measured by food frequency) was investigated using multiple regression analyses. Eating margarine at least daily was associated with significantly lower IQ scores at 3.5 years in the total sample and at 7 years in SGA children. For all children, eating the recommended daily number of breads and cereals was associated with significantly higher IQ scores at 3.5 years, and those who ate fish at least weekly had significantly higher IQ scores at 7 years than those who did not. The consumption of fish, breads and cereals commeasurable with nutritional guidelines may be beneficial to children’s cognitive development. In contrast, consuming margarine daily was associated with poorer cognitive functioning. Further research is needed to identify the nutrients that may underlie this association.

Source: “Dietary patterns and intelligence in early and middle childhood” from Intelligence, Volume 37, Issue 5, September-October 2009, Pages 506-513

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