The Relationship between Children’s Nutrition and Cognitive Development


Earlier research has suggested a positive connection between dietary admission through breastfeeding and intellectual advancement in childhood. The exploration proof seen from the distinctions in cognitive advancement between breastfed and the non-breastfed children proposes that nourishment assumes a crucial job in the intellectual improvement of children. In any case, very few current studies have examined the relationship between dietary examples and cognitive improvement. The investigation examined this association with a gathering of forty subjects involving 20 male and 20 female students from seven comprehensive schools. Results showed a positive connection between nutritional intake and cognitive development in childhood.

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The likelihood that a nutritional upgrade or affront at a basic time of growth could impact wellbeing, function or accomplishment is one of vulnerability yet one of indispensable significance (Rodgers, 2008). A few specialists have analyzed the connection among breastfeeding and childhood cognitive improvement and have shown that breastfed newborn children might be beneficial for their ensuing advancement and intelligence quotient (IQ) contrasted with non-breastfed babies (Bourre, 2006). These examinations have concentrated on the connection between early nourishment and cognitive advancement amid early childhood, however whether the watched advantageous affiliation perseveres amid later childhood and past is unsure, and will be analyzed in this paper.

Methods and Findings

While trying to guarantee a smooth and most direct procedure, 40 subjects were enlisted which included 20 guys, 20 females aged 11-16 years from seven comprehensive schools inside North Chester region. Invitation letters were forwarded to the head teachers of the seven schools, and the interested individuals were included in the research. The schools involved in the study distributed the letters to parents to ask for their consent to fill in in a brief questionnaire that was supposed to collect their contact information and socio-demographic background details. The participation was enhanced with the help of vouchers from the store of respondent’s choice. Upon arrival, students were asked to complete an assent structure that was recently affirmed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Health visitor reports, 0-4 years hospital consultation records, and school health records of each subject were obtained to gather the data on the birth weight, gestational age, and mother’s age. The birth rank and strategy for baby nourishing were also gathered. The collected data on social class was coded utilizing the Registrar.

The data was also classified based on the parents’ occupation and income. The study also considered mothers’ education, which was coded in the following way: 1 = no educational attainments; 2 = up to four passes for the certificate of secondary school (CSE); 3 = any general certificate of education (GCE) at ordinary (0) level or more than four CSEs; 4 = any GCE at advanced (A) level; 5 = degree or higher professional qualification.

Cognitive ability was assessed using the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices test and subtests of the Primary Mental Abilities test, such as reasoning, verbal meaning and number facility. All tests used are standardized measures of assessing cognitive abilities within this age group. The data was later analyzed statistically through t-test, chi-square, and multiple regression analysis. Regression analysis was used to adjust for possible confounding factors, shown to be related to developmental scores and which might confuse the comparison of IQ scores between the breastfed and non-breastfed groups. These factors included birthweight, gestational age, birth rank, child’s sex, social class, mother’s age, and mother’s educational level. No significant difference in birth weight, gestational age, mother’s age or child’s sex was observed between the breastfed and non-breastfed groups. However, there was a significantly higher tendency for the first child in a family to be breastfed (~4.01). A significant difference between the two samples was also observed in the social class and mother’s education level, with 29% of families from social class I and II (p<0.001) and 83% of mothers with GCE “0’ levels or above (p<0.01) choosing to breastfeed.

The breastfed children demonstrated a significant advantage over the non-breastfed ones for all criteria of IQ evaluated, ranging from a 4.3-point lead in Raven’s IQ to a 6.0-point edge in Primary mental abilities IQ. However, following adjustment for possible confounding factors, the positive impact of breastfeeding was statistically insignificant, with social class, birth rank and mother’s age exerting the most significant impact on the cognitive abilities of subjects in the breastfed group. The effect of duration of feeding on later cognitive function was also assessed. No significant differences in birth weight, gestational age, birth rank, child’s sex, mother’s age, mother ‘s education, and social class were observed between subjects breastfed for 1- 12 weeks and those breastfed for >I2 weeks.

A significant 6.8-point advantage in verbal IQ (p<O.01), a 6.7-point lead in reasoning IQ (p<O.OI) and a 5.2-point edge in Primary mental ability IQ (p<0.05) were observed for subjects breastfed for >I2 weeks. This significant advantage persisted, with a 6.0-point lead in verbal IQ and; I 5.4-point advantage in reasoning IQ.


The outcomes propose that the span of breastfeeding applies a huge impact on the later intellectual accomplishment of full-term babies (Rodgers, 2008). Be that as it may, the effect of known and obscure puzzling impacts blocks firm conclusions. On the off chance that breastfeeding is accompanied by an increasingly quick or better improvement of the neurologic capacity, it might be on the grounds that breast milk gives nutrients required to the fast development of an immature brain. All around, our revelations are compatible with prior research (Rodgers, 2008; Taylor & Wadsworth, 2008)

Conclusion and Recommendations for Future Research

The study explored the relationship between nourishment and intellectual improvement, for the most part, concentrating on breastfed and non-breastfed children. Cognitive improvement was observed to be correlated with nutritional intake. The proof is increasingly predictable from the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices test, and subtests of the Primary Mental Abilities test and they recommended that nutrients gotten by breastfeeding assume a basic job in the intellectual advancement of children (Raven, 2000). Be that as it may, the effect of known and obscure puzzling impacts prompts the requirement for better controlled and all the more sufficiently fueled investigations later on. It is conceivable that no breastfed kids may experience increasingly different micronutrient insufficiencies, as opposed to breastfed children who are sensibly very much fed (Raven, 2000). These are fundamental contemplations since nutrients don’t act alone; rather, they have in certain settings synergistic and in different settings adversarial impacts with one another (Rodgers, 2008).



Bourre J. M. (2006). Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: Micronutrients. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging10(5), 377–385.

Raven, J. (2000). The Raven’s progressive matrices: Change and stability over culture and time. Cognitive Psychology41(1), 1-48.

Rodgers, B. (2008). Feeding in infancy and later ability and attainment: A longitudinal study. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology20(4), 421-426.

Taylor, B., & Wadsworth, J. (2008). Breast feeding and child development at five years. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology26(1), 73-80.