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Junk Food Diet Linked to Lower IQ in Children


We all know a diet heavy on processed foods is bad for your health—but new research reveals it's also bad for your child’s IQ.

Plus: 10 nutritious superfoods for kids

A study in the UK examined the diets of 14,000 children at ages 3, 4, 7, and 8.5 by having their parents fill out questionnaires.

Plus: Healthy breakfast snacks for you and your kids

If a child ate a diet high in processed foods and heavy on sugar and fat at age three, researchers found a small decrease in their IQ when they were tested at age eight and a half. In fact, for every point a child scored on fat intake on their diet pattern chart, his IQ level dropped by 1.67 points.

Alternatively, children with a healthy diet at age three had a small increase of IQ by age 8.5.

Plus: Easy homemade baby food recipes

The most interesting nugget from the study, however, was that what a child ate at ages four and seven had less of an effect on intelligence than the child's diet before age three. The takeaway? You are what you eat—especially in the first three years of life.

Plus: 13 healthy finger foods

If you have a toddler, you know it can be tough to get them to eat a well-balanced diet. What are your tricks for getting your pint-size picky eaters to eat fruits, veggies and other healthy foods?