Wow! Fish consumption linked to higher IQs in kidsby Communications Team at the AllianceJanuary 10th, 2018

New Study: Tuna Makes Children Smarter & Sleep Better

Good news for families in 2018: a new scientific study reports that children who eat fish regularly score higher on IQ tests, as well as sleep better with fewer sleep interruptions. This has been linked to omega-3 acids which can be found in high levels in tuna products. Findings from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing study showed that children who ate fish once a week, scored 4.8 points higher on IQ tests than those who seldom or never consumed fish. They were also less likely to experience sleep disturbances, the results concluded. For the experiment, more than 500 children were given a questionnaire to fill in, which quizzed them on how much fish they consumed over the last month, while their parents answered questions on their child’s quality of sleep. This was carried out over three years from ages 9-11 and the children then completed IQ tests a year later at age 12.

There have been many reports over the years linking the omega-3 fatty acids found in many, but not all fish, to intelligence. In 2016, an FAO study found that pregnant women eating fatty fish such as tuna can significantly boost the IQ of their baby. Tuna contains very high levels of omega-3 and because of this and its popularity, it is a great part of children’s diets.

A registered dietician at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine talked about the study stating, “They are probably zeroing in on the omega-3 fatty acids. There are fish that have higher amounts and, of these, is a fish kids love — tuna.”

Omega3 fatty acids are concentrated in the brain and play a role in brain neurological function.

The researchers concluded that fish should be added to a child’s diet steadily. Jennifer Pinto-Martin, co-author of the study, stated “children should be introduced to it early on” as this makes the taste “more palatable”. “If they’re not used to it, they may shy away from it”, she warns.

The study, which was published in Scientific Reports, can be found here ( 017-17520-w)

As fishers, we’re glad to see more evidence of the health benefits of tuna.