I don’t normally write about kids’ nutrition here because this blog is all about you – the Shape reader – but I couldn’t resist including this topic, especially after seeing the First Lady talking about nutrition on Regis & Kelly today.
A new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that feeding kids processed foods led to lower IQ scores, and healthy foods raised IQ levels.
The study looked at the diets of nearly 4,000 kids at the ages of 3, 4, 7 and 8.5 as well as their IQ measurements (using the standard Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) at 8 and a half.
The researchers identified three basic diets:
Processed - filled with refined carbs, sugar and lots of convenience foods
Traditional - a typical American diet high in meats with some veggies and
Health conscious - a diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, salads, fish, etc.
Kids who ate the ‘processed’ diet at age 3 had lower IQ scores at 8.5 years of age than kids with a ‘healthy conscious’ diet. In fact for every one point increase in the consumption of processed foods, they lost 1.67 IQ points. On the flip side each one point increase in healthy eating translated into a 1.2 point rise in IQ.
What does this have to do with weight (since this blog is called Weight Loss Coach)? Well, a lot of weight loss diets are filled with processed foods. And as this study shows the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ really does hold true. Whether you’re a 3 year old or a 33 year old, growing or trying to shrink your fats cells, it’s the quality, not just calories in your diet that play a role in how you look, feel and perform.
After swapping processed “diet” foods (like low cal or low fat frozen dinners, bars, etc.) for simple, clean, whole foods I’ve had clients tell me that they think more clearly, have tons more energy, and even feel as if they look younger. That’s all possible because our bodies are continuously in regenerate and repair mode; and as a result the quality of your cells mostly depends on what you eat. That’s why your skin and hair as well as your energy level can shift so quickly depending on your diet.
Bottom line: whether you are trying to lose weight or you’re one of those people who can eat anything and stay stick thin quality is key, because food is our head to toe foundation!
So what’s your take on this topic? Are you a mom, dad or caregiver to a growing child? If so how do you feel about this study? And if you’re an adult trying to lose weight how do you feel about processed diet foods? Please share your thoughts!
P.S. For a month's worth of clean, simple, unprocessed weight loss meals click here.