Vegetarians have higher childhood IQ

…although a third seem to suffer from conceptual problems! A paper published this week by the British Medical Journal report that children with higher IQs tend to go on to become vegetarian.

Adults who classified themselves as vegetarian tended to be five points higher in IQ when they were tested at age 10.

Interestingly, the results remained stable after education and social class were controlled for.

However, a third of people who classified themselves as vegetarian ate chicken or fish, suggesting most people work with a reasonably flexible definition.

This study is from a research group in Southhampton who are looking at the link between childhood factors and adult brain development.

We recently reported on an earlier study on childhood head size and IQ.

Link to write-up from BBC News.
Link to abstract from the BMJ.

2 Comments

  1. Posted December 19, 2006 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “However, a third of people who classified themselves as vegetarian ate chicken or fish, suggesting most people work with a reasonably flexible definition.”
    I might be flexible on fish but chicken? COME ON!

  2. Posted December 19, 2006 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    The problem with this, as with most news stories about assessments, is that people will likely freak out and think “higher IQ” is a meaningful outcome in the study. Five points isn’t close to meaningful, but I doubt the article mentions anything about standard deviations, standard scores, or effect size.
    Someone could easily profit from this much like the people who put out “Baby Mozart” CDs.


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