Eating breakfast can increase people’s IQ, research finds.
Children who have breakfast on an almost daily basis score better on IQ tests.
Children in the study who ate breakfast had an average of 5 IQ points more than those that did not.
Breakfast provides fuel for the brain after a night of fasting.
Social interaction at breakfast may also help the cognitive development of children.
Dr Jianghong-Liu, the study’s first author, said:
“Childhood is a critical period in which dietary and lifestyle patterns are initiated, and these habits can have important immediate and long-term implications.
Breakfast habits appear to be no exception, and irregular breakfast eating has already been associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, frequent alcohol use, and infrequent exercise.”
The conclusions come from a study of 1,269 Chinese children.
The results showed that those having breakfast scored 6 points higher on verbal tests and 5 points higher on overall IQ.
Dr Liu continued:
“Because adequate nutrition in early childhood has been linked to increased IQ through childhood, which is related to decreased childhood behavioral disorders, better career satisfaction, and socioeconomic success in adults, breakfast consumption could ultimately benefit long-term physical and mental health outcomes as well a quality of life.
These findings may reflect nutritional as well as social benefits of breakfast consumption on children and hold important public health implications regarding regular breakfast consumption in early young children.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Early Human Development (Liu et al., 2013).