Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

You are what you eat? Meal type, socio-economic status and cognitive ability in childhood

von Stumm, Sophie (2012) You are what you eat? Meal type, socio-economic status and cognitive ability in childhood. Intelligence, 40 (6). pp. 576-583. ISSN 0160-2896

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.intell.2012.08.004


The current study tests if the type of children's daily main meal (slow versus fast food) mediates the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with cognitive ability and cognitive growth in childhood. A Scottish birth cohort (Growing Up in Scotland) was assessed at ages 3 (N = 4512) and 5 years (N = 3833) on cognitive ability (i.e. vocabulary and picture similarities), SES, and the frequency of having slow and fast food main meals per week. SES was highly correlated at ages 3 and 5 years, while intelligence and the type of meal were only moderately associated across ages. SES at age 3 was positively related to ability at age 3 but not at age 5. The type of meals partially mediated the effects of SES on cognitive ability at ages 3 and 5, with more slow meals being associated with better cognitive performance. Furthermore, a higher frequency of slow food meals were positively related to cognitive growth between ages 3 and 5 years, after adjusting for SES and prior cognitive ability; however, they only accounted for a negligible amount of the variance in cognitive change. Overall, slow food was associated with better cognitive ability and cognitive growth in childhood, albeit corresponding effect sizes were small.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2018 15:28
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2018 15:28

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item