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Junk Food Makes Children Less Intelligent - Advanced BMI Lebanon

Junk Food Makes Children Less Intelligent

According to a new study, the quality of food children consume is linked to their performance in school on several subjects and competencies, as well as their overall intelligence.

A recent study aiming at finding the relationship between fast food and children’s proficiency recorded the test scores of about twelve thousand middle school students over a period of three years.

In the beginning of the survey, the children were asked to fill out a questionnaire to evaluate their eating habits. The answers were as follows:

  • 29% of the students did not consume any junk food before the questionnaire.
  • 10% had fast food every day.
  • 10% consumed fast food 4 to 6 times per week.
  • The remaining 51% had fast food between one and three times the week prior to the questionnaire.

The children were also tested on three subject matters: math and reasoning, general sciences, and reading. The same process was repeated 3 years later.

Junk Food Makes Children Less Intelligent

After collecting the results, it was revealed that the scores of the children who ate fast food 4 to 6 times per week were 20% worse than the scores of the children who had no fast food on all three test subjects. The students who had consumed fast food between one and three times per week scored lower only in math.

The study also took into consideration other factors that might contribute to the lower test scores, such as the time spent exercising, time spent watching television, and their environment and surroundings.

The results of the study suggest that junk food consumption and bad eating habits have not only contributed to the rise of childhood obesity, but have also affected children’s thinking processes and academic ability.

Although it is not completely clear why junk food affects academic ability, researchers suggest that it may be because junk food does not contain the recommended amount of several nutrients, for example iron, that are linked to improved thinking and memorizing abilities.

In Lebanon, there has been a decrease in the amount of homemade foods in children’s diets and an increase in junk food. So if your child is lacking in some areas of studies, it may be time to watch what they are eating and to steer them away from fast food.

Author Info

Dr Nagi Safa

Dr Nagi Safa is a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeon (Weight-Loss Surgeon) at the Advanced BMI in Lebanon and at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, and holds an academic appointment at the University of Montreal. Furthermore, he is involved in the training of residents and surgical fellows on how to perform advanced laparoscopic obesity surgery. In 2010, he launched the Advanced Bariatric and Metabolic Institute (Advanced BMI) in Lebanon, and has been helping hundreds of patients from all over the Middle-East through his expertise in obesity surgery. Education: Dr Safa completed his residency training at the University of Montreal General Surgery Program. He then performed a fellowship in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Minimal Invasive Surgery (Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery), at the Sacred Heart Hospital of Montreal, which is the largest Weight Loss Surgery center in the Montreal area, and one of the busiest in Canada. Experience: During his training, and throughout his practice, Dr Safa performed more than one thousand laparoscopic procedures, including Roux en Y gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric banding, gastric plication and many other abdominal surgery procedures. He has a particular interest in LaparoscopicRevisional Surgery including banding, bypass and sleeve. With a keen interest in the advancement of obesity surgery and newer minimally invasive surgical techniques, Dr Safa gained experience in the single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), and offers Single Incision gastric banding and Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery. Research: His current research interests include clinical outcomes from various bariatric surgery procedures and investigations on the impact of bariatric surgery on Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome X. Memberships: Dr Safa holds professional memberships with the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Association of General Surgeons, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Association for Surgical Oncology, Quebec Medical Association, Trauma Association of Canada, Association Quebecoise de Chirurgie, International College of Surgeon, and the College des Medecins du Quebec.