Eating junk food can reduce a child’s IQ, according to new research.
A study found that while eating healthily can give a boost to intelligence, toddlers on a diet of drinks and sweets were less bright as they got older.
By the age of eight the ‘junk food’ tots had IQs up to two points lower than their healthy counterparts, according to researchers from the University of Adelaide.
The findings reinforce the need to provide children with healthy foods at a crucial, formative time in their lives, the authors claim in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
Dr Lisa Smithers, who led the study, said: ‘While the differences in IQ are not huge, this study provides some of the strongest evidence to date that dietary patterns from six to 24 months have a small but significant effect on IQ at eight years of age.
‘It is important that we consider the longer-term impact of the foods we feed our children.’