After controlling for every socioeconomic factor they could think of, researchers found that young children with diets heavy in processed foods grew to have lower IQs than similar children who ate more healthily, The Week writes:
Researchers at England’s University of Bristol found that a child’s eating habits at age 3 may influence his cognitive abilities at age 8. Toddler diets high in fat and sugar were associated with lower IQ scores, while healthier eating was tied to higher scores. The report, which appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, is being billed as “the first study to suggest a direct link between the diet of young children and their brainpower” years later.
The researchers examined data on nearly 4,000 children born in the early 1990s, including detailed information from parents on what the kids ate and drank at specific ages.