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    Beilharz, Jessica E. Kaakoush, Nadeem O. Maniam, Jayanthi and Morris, Margaret J. 2016. The effect of short-term exposure to energy-matched diets enriched in fat or sugar on memory, gut microbiota and markers of brain inflammation and plasticity. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Vol. 57, p. 304.

    Beilharz, J.E. Maniam, J. and Morris, M.J. 2016. Short-term exposure to a diet high in fat and sugar, or liquid sugar, selectively impairs hippocampal-dependent memory, with differential impacts on inflammation. Behavioural Brain Research, Vol. 306, p. 1.

    Beilharz, Jessica Maniam, Jayanthi and Morris, Margaret 2015. Diet-Induced Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Fat and Sugar, Potential Mechanisms and Nutritional Interventions. Nutrients, Vol. 7, Issue. 8, p. 6719.

    Morris, Margaret J. Beilharz, Jessica E. Maniam, Jayanthi Reichelt, Amy C. and Westbrook, R. Frederick 2015. Why is obesity such a problem in the 21st century? The intersection of palatable food, cues and reward pathways, stress, and cognition. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Vol. 58, p. 36.


Refined carbohydrate intake in relation to non-verbal intelligence among Tehrani schoolchildren

  • Amin Salehi Abargouei (a1) (a2), Naser Kalantari (a3), Nasrin Omidvar (a3), Bahram Rashidkhani (a3), Anahita Houshiar Rad (a4), Azizeh Afkham Ebrahimi (a5), Hossein Khosravi-Boroujeni (a1) and Ahmad Esmaillzadeh (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 09 December 2011

Nutrition has long been considered one of the most important environmental factors affecting human intelligence. Although carbohydrates are the most widely studied nutrient for their possible effects on cognition, limited data are available linking usual refined carbohydrate intake and intelligence. The present study was conducted to examine the relationship between long-term refined carbohydrate intake and non-verbal intelligence among schoolchildren.


Cross-sectional study.


Tehran, Iran.


In this cross-sectional study, 245 students aged 6–7 years were selected from 129 elementary schools in two western regions of Tehran. Anthropometric measurements were carried out. Non-verbal intelligence and refined carbohydrate consumption were determined using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices test and a modified sixty-seven-item FFQ, respectively. Data about potential confounding variables were collected. Linear regression analysis was applied to examine the relationship between non-verbal intelligence scores and refined carbohydrate consumption.


Individuals in top tertile of refined carbohydrate intake had lower mean non-verbal intelligence scores in the crude model (P < 0·038). This association remained significant after controlling for age, gender, birth date, birth order and breast-feeding pattern (P = 0·045). However, further adjustments for mother's age, mother's education, father's education, parental occupation and BMI made the association statistically non-significant. We found a significant inverse association between refined carbohydrate consumption and non-verbal intelligence scores in regression models (β = −11·359, P < 0·001). This relationship remained significant in multivariate analysis after controlling for potential confounders (β = −8·495, P = 0·038).


The study provides evidence indicating an inverse relationship between refined carbohydrate consumption and non-verbal intelligence among Tehrani children aged 6–7 years. Prospective studies are needed to confirm our findings.

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