Sunday, 13 February 2011

Idiotic IQ

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In Tuesday’s issue of the Metro, a study is quoted as proving that ‘a junk food diet can lower a child’s IQ’ 1. This article is trying to represent the research study it was taken from, but it is clear that the take home message has been exaggerated a bit. Firstly, there are many more factors involved with IQ that just diet, and so it would be easy to imagine that those parents who fed there children junk and processed foods before the age of 3 are also likely to be less than ideal parents, probably from a poor background and unlikely to ‘go the extra mile’ with regards to extracurricular activities and other stimuli, which is likely to have a bigger influence on the IQ that just the food. Secondly, the article also states there is a relationship with ‘head growth linked to intellectual ability’, this is a notion much studied in the 19th century and there is no link between the size of the head or the size of the brain and the IQ. This article is poorly written, clearly the research was misunderstood and misinterpreted, and again the vital role of the media as a ‘go between’ from science to the public means that the actual facts become altered and distorted like a game of Chinese whispers. 


E Markham (2011). Idiotic IQ Blogspot

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