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Childhood mental ability in relation to food intake and physical activity in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study

Childhood mental ability in relation to food intake and physical activity in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study
Childhood mental ability in relation to food intake and physical activity in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to examine the relation of scores on tests of mental ability in childhood with food consumption and physical activity in adulthood. METHODS: Based on a cohort of >17,000 individuals born in Great Britain in 1970, 8282 had complete data for mental ability scores at 10 years of age and reported their food intake and physical activity patterns at 30 years of age. RESULTS: Children with higher mental ability scores reported significantly more frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables (cooked and raw), wholemeal bread, poultry, fish, and foods fried in vegetable oil in adulthood. They were also more likely to have a lower intake of chips (French fries), nonwholemeal bread, and cakes and biscuits. There was some attenuation in these associations after adjustment for markers of socioeconomic position across the life course, which included educational attainment, with statistical significance lost in some analyses. Higher mental ability was positively associated with exercise habit, in particular, intense activity (defined by being out of breath/sweaty). The associations between mental ability and these behaviors were similar in both men and women, and they were somewhat stronger for verbal than nonverbal ability. CONCLUSIONS: It is plausible that the skills captured by IQ tests, such as the ability to comprehend and reason, may be important in the successful management of a person's health behaviors
mental ability, food intake, physical activity
0031-4005
e38-e45
Batty, G. David
605ce199-493d-4238-b9c8-a2c076672e83
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Schoon, Ingrid
7d34edc7-0fbc-4ba1-8c0c-30746d693d11
Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8
Batty, G. David
605ce199-493d-4238-b9c8-a2c076672e83
Deary, Ian J.
027158ae-fbfb-40ea-98b1-32d2690499ac
Schoon, Ingrid
7d34edc7-0fbc-4ba1-8c0c-30746d693d11
Gale, Catharine R.
5bb2abb3-7b53-42d6-8aa7-817e193140c8

Batty, G. David, Deary, Ian J., Schoon, Ingrid and Gale, Catharine R. (2007) Childhood mental ability in relation to food intake and physical activity in adulthood: the 1970 British Cohort Study. Pediatrics, 119 (1), e38-e45. (doi:10.1542/peds.2006-1831).

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to examine the relation of scores on tests of mental ability in childhood with food consumption and physical activity in adulthood. METHODS: Based on a cohort of >17,000 individuals born in Great Britain in 1970, 8282 had complete data for mental ability scores at 10 years of age and reported their food intake and physical activity patterns at 30 years of age. RESULTS: Children with higher mental ability scores reported significantly more frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables (cooked and raw), wholemeal bread, poultry, fish, and foods fried in vegetable oil in adulthood. They were also more likely to have a lower intake of chips (French fries), nonwholemeal bread, and cakes and biscuits. There was some attenuation in these associations after adjustment for markers of socioeconomic position across the life course, which included educational attainment, with statistical significance lost in some analyses. Higher mental ability was positively associated with exercise habit, in particular, intense activity (defined by being out of breath/sweaty). The associations between mental ability and these behaviors were similar in both men and women, and they were somewhat stronger for verbal than nonverbal ability. CONCLUSIONS: It is plausible that the skills captured by IQ tests, such as the ability to comprehend and reason, may be important in the successful management of a person's health behaviors

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More information

Published date: January 2007
Keywords: mental ability, food intake, physical activity

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 60895
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/60895
ISSN: 0031-4005
PURE UUID: 0e08675d-8075-4732-abde-03ed195c8fde
ORCID for Catharine R. Gale: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3361-8638

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Date deposited: 08 Sep 2008
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:52

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Contributors

Author: G. David Batty
Author: Ian J. Deary
Author: Ingrid Schoon

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