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Childhood intelligence and adult obesity

Kanazawa, Satoshi ORCID: 0000-0003-3786-8797 (2013) Childhood intelligence and adult obesity. Obesity, 21 (3). pp. 434-440. ISSN 1930-7381

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Identification Number: 10.1002/oby.20018


Recent studies conclude childhood intelligence has no direct effect on adult obesity net of education, but evolutionary psychological theories suggest otherwise. Design and Methods: A population (n = 17,419) of British babies has been followed since birth in 1958 in a prospectively longitudinal study. Childhood general intelligence is measured at 7, 11, and 16, and adult BMI and obesity are measured at 51. Results: Childhood general intelligence has a direct effect on adult BMI, obesity, and weight gain, net of education, earnings, mother's BMI, father's BMI, childhood social class, and sex. More intelligent children grow up to eat more healthy foods and exercise more frequently as adults. Conclusion: Childhood intelligence has a direct effect on adult obesity unmediated by education or earnings. General intelligence decreases BMI only in adulthood when individuals have complete control over what they eat.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Obesity Society.
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education > I21 - Analysis of Education
Date Deposited: 10 May 2013 11:36
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 21:06

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