Brainy Kids May Become Vegetarians
Study: 10-Year-Olds With Higher IQs Are More Likely to Be Vegetarians at 30
WebMD News Archive
Dec. 14, 2006 -- Ten-year-olds with higher IQ scores may be more likely to
be vegetarians at age 30.
So say British researchers including Catharine Gale, PhD, a senior research
fellow at England's University of Southampton.
They studied 8,170 men and women who were born in the U.K. in 1970.
Participants took an IQ test when they were 10 years old. Twenty years
later, they were asked whether they were currently vegetarians.
The vast majority said they weren't vegetarians, but 366 said they were.
They included nine vegans (who eat no animal products, such as meat, dairy
products, and eggs) and 123 people who called themselves vegetarians despite
eating fish and chicken.
Those with higher IQ scores at age 10 were more likely to be vegetarians at
age 30. The difference in IQ points was about five points, the study shows.
There was no difference in IQ score between strict vegetarians and the
vegetarians who ate fish or chicken.
The results held when Gale's team took participants' income, social class,
and education into consideration.
It's not clear how long participants had been vegetarians, or what (if any)
relationship vegetarianism has to IQ scores.
The study appears online in BMJ, formerly called the British
The journal notes that of the four researchers who worked on the study, two
say they're "lapsed" vegetarians, one is a "committed"
vegetarian, and one calls himself an "omnivore," meaning he eats meat
as well as plants.
Three of the researchers say they've never taken an IQ test. The fourth (the
omnivore) "opts not to disclose" his IQ, the journal states.