Sunday Star Times 18 January 2009
Your kids may not thank you for it, but new research reveals just what parents should feed their children to make them smarter. And it’s fish once a week and bread and cereals four times a day that make all the difference. The findings come in a major New Zealand study into children’s IQ levels, diets and family situations. The study suggests that if children eat certain types of food their intelligence may be boosted or significantly lowered. It singles out margarine as having particularly strong links with lower IQ scores. The thesis by University of Otago research fellow Dr Reremoana Theodore, calls for further research into margarine and says children from disadvantaged families could be most at risk as margarine is often cheaper than other spreads.
…Theodore’s thesis looked at the IQs, diets and family situations of almost 600 New Zealand European children, as well as detailing the pregnancy of each mother. These families are still being tracked by the Auckland Birthweight Collaborative group of researchers, to investigate how children develop. Theodore analysed the effect certain factors had on children’s intelligence. She did not look at other health effects and warns that some of her more controversial findings should not be used to justify diets or behaviour that could be harmful in other ways.