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Vegetarians are more intelligent, says study

Frequently dismissed as cranks, their fussy eating habits tend to make them unpopular with dinner party hosts and guests alike.

But now it seems they may have the last laugh, with research showing vegetarians are more intelligent than their meat-eating friends.

A study of thousands of men and women revealed that those who stick to a vegetarian diet have IQs that are around five points higher than those who regularly eat meat.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers say it isn't clear why veggies are brainier - but admit the fruit and veg-rich vegetarian diet could somehow boost brain power.

The researchers, from the University of Southampton, tracked the fortunes of more than 8,000 volunteers for 20 years.

At the age of ten, the boys and girls sat a series of tests designed to determine their IQ.

When they reached the age of 30, they were asked whether they were vegetarian and their answers compared to their childhood IQ score.

Around four and a half per cent of the adults were vegetarian - a figure that is broadly in line with that found in the general population.

However, further analysis of the results showed those who were brainiest as children were more likely to have become vegetarian as adults, shunning both meat and fish.

The typical adult veggie had a childhood IQ of around 105 - around five points higher than those who continued to eat meat as they grew up.

The vegetarians were also more likely to have gained degrees and hold down high-powered jobs.

There was no difference in IQ between strict vegetarians and those who classed themselves as veggie but still ate fish or chicken.

However, vegans - vegetarians who also avoid dairy products - scored significantly lower, averaging an IQ score of 95 at the age of 10.

Researcher Dr Catharine Gale said there could be several explanations for the findings, including intelligent people being more likely to consider both animal welfare issues and the possible health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

Previous work has shown that vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, cutting their risk of heart attacks. They are also less likely to be obese.

Alternatively, a diet which is rich in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains may somehow boost brain power.

Dr Gale said: 'Although our results suggest that children who are more intelligent may be more likely to become vegetarian as adolescents or young adults, it does not rule out the possibility that such a diet might have some beneficial effect on subsequent cognitive performance.

'Might the nature of the vegetarians' diet have enhanced their apparently superior brain power? Was this the mechanism that helped them achieve the disproportionate nature of degrees?'

High-profile vegetarians include singers Paul McCartney and Morrissey and actress Jenny Seagrove.

Past exponents of a meat-free lifestyle include George Bernard Shaw and Benjamin Franklin.

Promoting the cause, Shaw said, 'A mind of the calibre of mine cannot drive its nutriment from cows', while Franklin stated that a vegetarian diet resulted in 'greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension'.

Liz O'Neill, of the Vegetarian Society, said: 'We've always known that vegetarianism is an intelligent, compassionate choice benefiting animals, people and the environment. Now, we've got the scientific evidence to prove it.

'Maybe that explains why many meat-reducers are keen to call themselves vegetarians when even they must know that vegetarians don't eat chicken, turkey or fish!'








当他们到了30岁,他们要被提问是否是素食者,并且他们的答案会与他们童年时期的IQ分数作比较 ,


研究人员通过进一步分析发现,智商较高的儿童成人后成为素食者的可能性较大 。

成年素食者在儿童时期的智商大约为105,比非素食者儿童时期的智商高五分左右 。





研究员Catharine Gale博士称:结果可能有几个解释,包括聪明的人可能会更喜欢考虑动物的保护问题和素食者饮食的可能的保健福利.以前的工作表示,素食主义者倾向于有降低低血压和降低胆固醇,削减他们的心脏病发作的风险。同时,他们也很少是肥胖者。

也许,在水果、蔬菜和谷物含有富有的营养物以某种方式促进大脑发育。 gale博士说:“虽然我们的结果建议是更加聪明的孩子当他们长大时可能更容易变为素食者,它不排除这样的可能性:如此饮食也许有利于以后的认知表现。




来自一个素食社团的Liz O' Neill说: “ 我们总是知道素食主义是一个聪明、慈悲、有益于动物、人们和环境的选择。 现在, 我们已经得到科学证据来证明它”。