Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Brainy Kids May Become Vegetarians

Study: 10-Year-Olds With Higher IQs Are More Likely to Be Vegetarians at 30
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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 Medical Journal.

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.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow