Vegetarianism: the choice of the 'more intelligent' child

  • From The Independent, 15 December 2006 




    The finding helps explain how a team of vegetarians won the BBC Test the Nation competition in September, when they beat off competition from six other teams including butchers, public school pupils and footballers' wives to achieve the highest overall IQ score.
    The top scoring individual in the contest, Marie Bidmead, 68, a mother of five from Churcham, Gloucester, was also a vegetarian. "I think it shows we veggies are good thinkers. We think about what we eat for a start," she said.
    Researchers from the University of Southampton who conducted the study agree. They suggest that vegetarians are more thoughtful about what they eat. But they say it is unclear whether bright children choose to become vegetarians for the health benefits or for other reasons, such as a concern for animals, or as a lifestyle choice.
    The scientists began investigating the link between IQ and vegetarianism because people with higher intelligence have a lower risk of heart disease, which has long puzzled doctors.
    A vegetarian diet is associated with a lower cholesterol level, lower blood pressure and less obesity - all risk factors for heart disease. The researchers wondered if this could explain the health advantage of having a high IQ. They cite Benjamin Franklin, the 18th-century statesman and scientist, who said that a vegetarian diet results in a "greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension". He may not have realised that this was because of whom was eating rather than what was eaten.
    The study, published in the British Medical Journal, was based on more than 8,000 people born in 1970 whose IQ was measured at age 10. Now aged 36, the researchers found 366, just under one in 20, said they were vegetarians (a third of these ate chicken or fish but none touched red meat).
    As well as being brighter, the vegetarians were better educated and of higher social class but the link with intelligence remained statistically significant even after adjusting for these factors. Despite their intelligence they were not wealthier and more likely to be working for charities or in education. "It may be that ethical considerations determined not just their diet but also their choice of employment," the report said.
    It concludes: "Our finding that children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults, coupled with the evidence on the potential health benefits of a vegetarian diet, may help to explain why higher IQ in childhood or adolescence is linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease in adult life."

  • I wonder if the higher IQ kids are simply more Veggie because:
    * Veggies seem to be more often middleclass
    * Higher IQ kids are more attracted to classical middleclass activities (political activism, reading, higher educational scores)
    and
    * Thus the higher IQ kids are more exposed to veggie propaganda

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Atomik

    Otherwise known as "information". Don't be provocative. :rolleyes:


    I'm not :D


    Its propaganda whenever it presents a biased political point of view :) All veggie "info" is actually pro-veggie.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    Its propaganda whenever it presents a biased political point of view :) All veggie "info" is actually pro-veggie.

    Everyone has biased political points of view. So if you wanna work from such a loose definition, all information is propaganda since we're all biased towards our own viewpoint.

  • Well, personally I made my choice to be a veggie before I even knew the vegetarian lifestyle existed... also at the time I was a seriously lazy bugger (this was primary school) so its unlikely that my intellectual potential was being realised... I certainly wasn't into "middle class activities".
    I suspect that if they were talking about fad veggies you could be right... but these are most likely not as fad vegetarianism tends to be more associated with youth culture and these people are 36...

  • Quote

    As well as being brighter, the vegetarians were better educated and of higher social class

    Is that so?? And WHERE do these findings come from?? A stupid television programme perhaps?? Hmmmm
     

    Quote

    Despite their intelligence they were not wealthier and more likely to be working for charities or in education.

    Again...is that so??
     

    Quote

    "It may be that ethical considerations determined not just their diet but also their choice of employment," the report said.
    It concludes: "Our finding that children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults, coupled with the evidence on the potential health benefits of a vegetarian diet, may help to explain why higher IQ in childhood or adolescence is linked with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease in adult life."


     
    So the meat eaters are all lower class, low skilled oiks?? Hand me the meat mum, i know my place.

  • Matey, you haven't read it...
    Some of the basic stuff was, indeed, based on a BBC program. However, the main conclusions of the article come from research done by researchers from the University of Southampton.
    Also its not saying that meat eaters are "lower class low skilled oiks", if you'd taken the time to read the article you would have noticed that it was saying that "children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults" not that all meat eaters are stupid or all vegetarians are intelligent (although I must admit to not having met a stupid one yet...)

  • Good grief, really tired of this topic of vegetarians been better off or better than meat eaters, every forum has one of these topics. I dont need to justify why I eat meat, like veggies have to keep telling us why they dont. Its my choice. My sister is a vegetarian and Im not, im healthier than her, what does this proove? NOTHING!

  • FFS! This is a piece of scientific research saying... and I quote "children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults", sheesh, its not us being self righteous tossers.
    Its not even saying that vegetarianism makes you more intelligent or anything similar... just that high intelligence is more likely to lead to vegetarianism than low intelligence.
    Jeez... :rolleyes:

  • Sorry, maybe im being dull, but why should higher intelligence, steer you towards vegetarainisim?? Sorry but i dont see the link??
     
    Iv read the report, but im still not convinced.

  • They didn't give a reason... they just stated that veggies have a higher IQ... its worth noting that IQ is a static (brain damage not withstanding) so its not that veg*nism causes a high IQ merely that people with a high IQ are more likely to be veggies.

  • Quote from Darkflame

    so its not that veg*nism causes a high IQ merely that people with a high IQ are more likely to be veggies.


     
    WHY?? Why..(again) i ask should 1 lead to t'other?? S orry, im not being a c**t, im really interested as to HOW they come to this conclusion. I agree that veg*nism, does not contribute to a higher IQ!! Ok, but HOW and WHY should those people go on to be vegetarians??
     
    It doesnt seem right, also if this was the case, for instance, there would be a higher percentage of veggie/vegan meals available in all schools and colleges. Im an ex veggie, i agree with the veggie principle, even though now i eat everything. That said, i still do not understand thier findings.

  • Erm, I can't really say why higher intelligence people are more likely to be veggies... but they explain quite well how they got the results.

    Quote


    The study, published in the British Medical Journal, was based on more than 8,000 people born in 1970 whose IQ was measured at age 10. Now aged 36, the researchers found 366, just under one in 20, said they were vegetarians (a third of these ate chicken or fish but none touched red meat).


    This shows quite well that they got the IQ of everyone... and got an average then they got the veggies 26 years later and compared the average IQ of the veggies to the average of the group.
    As to why this should be the case *shrug* could be many factors and to mention them would probably been seen as a slight at meat eaters.

  • this whole study seems strange..... i mean i kinda agree: how do they explain this link?


    just because there is a visible correlation in statistics doesnt mean theres a cause-effects link! so their findings seem rather worthless without an explanation of a link between too potentially unrelated sets of stats, IQ, and number of veggies.......


    all i can see from the article is a suggestion that higher IQ would lead an individual to be more inquisitive, and maybe appreciate the damage of meat prod industry to enviroment or whatever the reasons people go veg, but as coyote said thats more exposure to info, rather than simply IQ..........


    so yea maybe something in these findings but seem way too simplistic

    I'm a travelin' woman, I got a travelin' mind:wiggle:
    -mattie delaney 'down the big road blues'

  • Quote from mooka

    just because there is a visible correlation in statistics doesnt mean theres a cause-effects link!

    Yup. That's the danger with statistics. Most rapists had eaten bread every day for most of their lives. Bread makes men rape people!


    Quote

    all i can see from the article is a suggestion that higher IQ would lead an individual to be more inquisitive, and maybe appreciate the damage of meat prod industry to enviroment or whatever the reasons people go veg, but as coyote said thats more exposure to info, rather than simply IQ..........

    Yup. Seems fairly obvious. :thumbup:

  • Quote from Darkflame

    FFS! This is a piece of scientific research saying... and I quote "children with greater intelligence are more likely to report being vegetarian as adults", sheesh, its not us being self righteous tossers.
    Its not even saying that vegetarianism makes you more intelligent or anything similar... just that high intelligence is more likely to lead to vegetarianism than low intelligence.
    Jeez... :rolleyes:


    Its the implication that is made....that being veggie is the "smart choice"..... thats bordering on offensive.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Coyote

    Its the implication that is made....that being veggie is the "smart choice"..... thats bordering on offensive.


    It is :harhar:


    Well, as theres no proof of causation its somewhat meaningless as has already been said... and as they only give you statistics... the implications are from your head not from the article ;)

  • Quote from Darkflame

    It is :harhar:


    Well, as theres no proof of causation its somewhat meaningless as has already been said... and as they only give you statistics... the implications are from your head not from the article ;)


    Nope the implications are innate to the statement that more veggies have a high IQ..... Lack of proof of causation doesnt matter; its the correlation that implies a "smart choice".


    :harhar:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Darkflame

    Well, it obviously is then ;)


    It may be the intelligent choice...that doesnt make it the wise one :harhar::D

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Hard to say as there is no qualitative measure of wisdom... but if we use you as a standard for a meat eater then we can definately say you are wrong on that count :harhar:

  • Quote from Darkflame

    ....the implications are from your head not from the article ;)


     
    A small point really, but I think you mean inferences, not implications.

  • Quote from Darkflame

    Hard to say as there is no qualitative measure of wisdom... but if we use you as a standard for a meat eater then we can definately say you are wrong on that count :harhar:


    Wisdom isnt absolute, IQ is. The assumption then is that smart is absolute (IQ) but this ignores the relative (Wisdom) - very useful for people trying to present their view as the smartest (Veggies, Fundi-christians etc etc) :harhar:

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • lol "smartest" according to what standards?? health? environmental impact? economic? animal welfare?


    meat eater vs veggie would be weighed up differently in each case so there is no one single "better" or "smarter" choice.... only a "smarter" choice in each case depending on what you deem important.


    and what does wisdom have to do with this??


    and: IQ is a very dubious measure of intelligence............

    I'm a travelin' woman, I got a travelin' mind:wiggle:
    -mattie delaney 'down the big road blues'

  • Quote from Mooka


    meat eater vs veggie would be weighed up differently in each case so there is no one single "better" or "smarter" choice.... only a "smarter" choice in each case depending on what you deem important.


    Indeed


    Quote

    and what does wisdom have to do with this??


    Erm you just described it :D Each persons values are slightly different and so widsom is about meeting the needs that come from those values - a meat eater generally has different values to a meusli-knitting veggie :harhar: . Lots of folks try to portray a universal definition of "smart" in all things (usually with their set of values at the peak of smartness :rolleyes: ).

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."