Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Too many unhealthy foods lower a child’s IQ
常吃高油糖鹽食物 學童會變笨

Students eat lunch at an elementary school in New Taipei City on June 6 last year.
學生們去年六月六日於新北市的一所小學吃午餐。

Photo: Kuo Yen-hui, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者郭顏慧

Children with nutritionally balanced diets are smarter and there is science to back that up. A national nutrition survey in Taiwan and an Australian study show that children who regularly eat fatty, sugary and salty foods are significantly more at risk of performing poorly in school and having lower IQs.

Researchers from Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University conducted a study from 2001 to 2002, titled “A National Investigation of Nutritional Health for Elementary School Students,” which included 2,222 students throughout Taiwan, analyzing basic family characteristics, frequency of consumption, dietary habits and overall academic performance at school.

The study defined 13 types of nutritional foods (vegetables, fruits, dairy, yogurt, fermented milk, cheese, meat, fish, seafood, offal, eggs, soymilk and soybean products) and nine types of foods with little or no nutritional value (fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, fatty foods such as instant noodles, cakes and pastries, fatty snacks like potato chips and corn chips, as well as crackers and cookies, ice cream, ice pops, desserts and sugary drinks). Students and parents provided which types of foods they ate each week and how frequently they ate the foods, while teachers provided data regarding the overall performance of students in school.

The results of the study showed that the more frequently students ate foods with high nutritional value on a daily basis, the more likely they were to perform well in school, while students eating too many sweets and fried foods were more likely to perform poorly in school.

Students are more at risk of performing poorly in school the poorer their diet is. Even after eliminating factors such as gender, age, geographical location, where one’s parents come from and socioeconomic status, if a child has three or more poor nutritional factors in their diet, they are considerably more at risk — as much as three times more than average — of performing poorly in school.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. investigation n.

調查 (diao4 cha2)

例: The police have launched an investigation.

(警察展開了調查。)

2. characteristic n.

特性;特質 (te4 xing4; te4 zhi2)

例: The colorful tattoos on her face are one of her most distinguishing characteristics.

(她的特徵是臉上的鮮豔刺青。)

3. define v.

定義 (ding4 yi4)

例: This term is very difficult to define.

(這個詞語很難定義。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

從小飲食均衡營養的孩子,會比較聰明,是有科學根據的。台灣國民營養調查和澳洲研究皆顯示,習慣吃高油糖鹽食物的孩子,不但學校整體表現不佳的風險大增,連智力表現都較低。

中研院與台灣大學的研究人員,二○○一年到二○○二年進行「台灣國小學童營養健康狀況調查」,針對全台各地二千兩百二十二位學童,分析其家庭基本特性、飲食頻率、飲食喜好及在校整體表現量表等資料。

研究中所定義的營養食物有十三種(蔬菜、水果、奶類、優格、發酵乳、起司、肉類、魚類、海鮮類、內臟類、蛋類、豆漿及黃豆製品),低營養密度食品有九種(薯條、炸雞等油炸類食品、速食麵、蛋糕西點等高油食品、洋芋片、玉米片等高油零食、餅乾、冰淇淋、冰棒、甜食及含糖的飲料)。學童及家長共同回答每星期各項食物的攝取頻率,學校老師則填答學童在校整體表現量表。

結果發現,學童日常攝取高營養密度食物的頻率越高,在校整體表現越好;反觀甜食和油炸類的攝取頻率越高,在校整體表現的分數則較差。

學童的不良飲食因子愈多,在校整體表現不良的相對風險就愈高,而且就算排除性別、年級、地區、父母籍貫和社經地位的影響,擁有三項以上不良飲食因子的學童,其表現不良的風險還是顯著較高,且高達三倍。

(自由時報記者邱宜君)

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