Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early-life Nutrition May Be Associated With Adult Intellectual Functioning

Date:
July 8, 2008
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Adults who had improved nutrition in early childhood may score better on intellectual tests, regardless of the number of years they attended school, according to a new article.

Adults who had improved nutrition in early childhood may score better on intellectual tests, regardless of the number of years they attended school, according to a new article.

"Schooling is a key component of the development of literacy, reading comprehension and cognitive functioning, and thus of human capital," the authors write as background information in the article. Research also suggests that poor nutrition in early life is associated with poor performance on cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) tests in adulthood. "Therefore, both nutrition and early-childhood intellectual enrichment are likely to be important determinants of intellectual functioning in adulthood."

Between 1969 and 1977, Guatemalan children in four villages participated in a trial of nutritional supplementation. Through the trial, some were exposed to atole--a protein-rich enhanced nutritional supplement--while others were exposed to fresco, a sugar-sweetened beverage. Aryeh D. Stein, M.P.H., Ph.D., of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from intellectual testing and interviews conducted between 2002 and 2004, when 1,448 surviving participants (68.4 percent) were an average of 32 years old.

Individuals exposed to atole between birth and age 24 months scored higher on intellectual tests of reading comprehension and cognitive functioning in adulthood than those not exposed to atole or who were exposed to it at other ages. This association remained significant when the researchers controlled for other factors associated with intellectual functioning, including years of schooling.

"Nutrition in early life is associated with markers of child development in this population, and exposure to atole for most of the first three years of life was associated with an increase of 0.4 years in attained schooling, with the association being stronger for females (1.2 years of schooling)," the authors write. "Thus, schooling might be in the causal pathway between early childhood nutrition and adult intellectual functioning."

"Our data, which suggest an effect of exposure to an enhanced nutritional intervention in early life that is independent of any effect of schooling, provide additional evidence in support of intervention strategies that link early investments in children to continued investments in early-life nutrition and in schooling," they conclude.

This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the National Science Foundation. The National Institutes of Health, the Thrasher Fund and the Nestle Foundation have funded the work of the INCAP Longitudinal Study since its inception.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aryeh D. Stein; Meng Wang; Ann DiGirolamo; Ruben Grajeda; Usha Ramakrishnan; Manuel Ramirez-Zea; Kathryn Yount; Reynaldo Martorell. Nutritional Supplementation in Early Childhood, Schooling, and Intellectual Functioning in Adulthood: A Prospective Study in Guatemala. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med., 2008;162(7):612-618 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Early-life Nutrition May Be Associated With Adult Intellectual Functioning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707161429.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2008, July 8). Early-life Nutrition May Be Associated With Adult Intellectual Functioning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707161429.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Early-life Nutrition May Be Associated With Adult Intellectual Functioning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707161429.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Most people don’t realize that ADHD isn’t just for kids. It can affect the work as well as personal lives of many adults, and often times they don’t even know they have it. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Sight and Sounds of Autism

The Sight and Sounds of Autism

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new study is explaining why for some people with autism what they see and what they hear is out of sync. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experiences Make Us Happy, Even Just Waiting For Them

Experiences Make Us Happy, Even Just Waiting For Them

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) New research finds we get more excited to buy experiences than we do to buy material things. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins