- The study suggests that an elevated IQ in a child is associated with the likelihood of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle in adulthood.
- Children with higher intelligence tend to develop healthier habits in adulthood, such as exercising intensively, not smoking, and not being overweight.
- Data from the research suggests children with higher IQ scores were likely to declare themselves as vegetarians by the age of 30.
- While social factors like education and social rank can impact the likelihood of vegetarianism, IQ remains a significant determinant, even when these factors are accounted for.
- There is a strong link between vegetarianism and optimal health with vegetarians typically having lower rates of major chronic illnesses and longer lifespans compared to their meat-eating counterparts.
An elevated IQ in a child is associated with a likelihood of adopting a vegetarian lifestyle in adulthood, suggests a recent research. This study offers a possible explanation of the connection between intelligence and better overall health.
Vegetarian Lifestyle and Health
The research, led by Catharine Gale, a senior research fellow at the Epidemiology Resource Centre at the University of Southampton, concludes that brighter individuals display healthier dietary patterns.
Down the line, it assists in significantly lessening the risk of cardiovascular disease in highly intellectual kids, Gale said. Several recent studies have mooted that following a vegetarian diet can lead to lower cholesterol and aid in the prevention of obesity and heart disease. This could elucidate why kids with high IQs generally show a decreased risk of heart illness as they get older.
Healthier Lifestyle Attributes
The study further emphasized that intelligent children develop healthier habits as adults – they are less likely to smoke or to be overweight, less prone to having high blood pressure, and more inclined towards intensive workouts.
About the Study
The study gathered data from nearly 8,200 individuals aged 30 whose IQ was tested at the age of 10. Gale’s team discovered that children with higher IQ scores were more probable to declare themselves vegetarian by 30.
Among the participants, 4.5 percent claimed they were vegetarians, from which 2.5 percent were vegans and 33.6 percent followed a vegetarian diet but occasionally had fish or chicken.
Vegetarianism and IQ
The frequency of vegetarianism was higher among females, individuals of higher social rank, and the better-educated group, but IQ remained a significant determinant of vegetarianism even after accounting for these parameters, Gale added.
The findings hint at vegetarian diets’ potential role in defining why children with higher IQs maintain a lower risk of cardiac diseases in their adult life.
However, there are unanswered questions: For instance, one could ask if vegetarian children were raised in a household with vegetarian parents, or if meatless meals were a common occurrence, or if these children primarily consumed vegetarian meals at the age of 10. It is also not clear if a specific event instigated their shift to vegetarianism during their teen years or in adulthood.
Adding to the discussion, another expert suggested that the link between vegetarianism and optimal health was relatively strong. Vegetarian lifestyle followers were known to have lower rates of most significant chronic diseases and had a longer lifespan compared to their meat-eating counterparts.
Intelligence, higher education level, and superior social status have also shown to contribute to better health.
For more information on varying vegetarian diets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers valuable resources.