1

votes

A totally hypothetical question about nutritional deficiencies

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

I have a question that can be considered biased and political. But actually it is should not be and basically I am asking because it just dawned on me and I want to have some feedback (both negative and positive).

I will try to explain it in the most politically correct way, but if I hurt someone's feelings, I apologize beforehand - I do not mean to degrade/put people down. I am just asking it because I want to make sure it makes sense.

Well, here it goes. Here is a map of the world based on IQ scores:

Map1

It is not very accurate, because it lists averages by country rather than by province/area. However, just by looking at that map we can see that the closer you are to the equator, the lower your average IQ scores become.

Compare the map above with the nutritional deficiencies world map:

Map2

Compare it with another map, the map of iodine deficiency.

iodine

Here is the article linking iodine deficiency and IQ scores:

IQ level

One more map: INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC DISEASE MAP:

textareaMap3textarea

So my point is: can it be (hypothetically) that some economic/political problems can be solved by eliminating nutritional deficiencies?

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on May 17, 2013
at 01:23 AM

I didn't mean that you were, just this type of info is often used that way. And the economic disparity would need to be addressed first, because the people can't afford better food.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 06:41 PM

@Brutish - excellent article, thanks, I checked it out but I still think my theory is better :)

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on May 16, 2013
at 04:03 PM

Infectious disease places a huge burden on intelligence: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-is-average-iq-higher-in-some-places

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:29 PM

Oh, I checked with a couple other sources. The map is almost identical. The other maps are hard to insert.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:20 PM

All environmental factors that effect I.Q. also effect mine, and folks like me are the ones who implement that stuff. The map made me think of DHA and butter as things that could be researched. These are things that I already eat. So, research into nutrition & I.Q. is likely to make the map look worse. The smart eat more of the I.Q. foods because they value intelligence, while the stupid go pick up a product made by fermenting grains. Even if you somehow enforce nutrition across the land, genetics determines the starting point.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:16 PM

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2006/07/better-state-iq-estimates.html -- "I created a regression formula for estimating state IQs based on infant mortality and life expectancy, as these two variables correlate strongly with national IQ (.84 and .85, respectively)"

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 10:44 AM

Some people are genetically predisposed to have different heights, different levels of physical ability, disease susceptibility, etc. some of these genes are even regulated by certain vitamins, minerals, nutrients, activities. Both genes and upbringing are going to effect a child's iq. I'd be more interested in knowing what their eq is though, since that can be a better predictor of success at work than iq.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I would add vitamin A, D and K.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Actually, it is the same, but it has the actual scores listed.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:16 AM

Okay, here is another iq map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:National_IQ_Lynn_Vanhanen_2006_IQ_and_Global_Inequality.png

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:13 AM

I disagree with the idea of a genetic factor - it is about the gut flora as well because according to GAP's doctor mothers influence their children's flora. Plus, 100% of all autistic kids in her practice had mothers with insufficient gut flora.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:09 AM

Let me assure you, I am like 200% anti-racist. My point is not about the race, but NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES. I am actually thinking in terms that if people eradicate nutritional deficiencies, maybe it can impact the overall economical development? But I could be wrong.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:00 AM

@CD - the authors comment WHERE? Which one?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:50 AM

+1 though, I can't believe you got down-vote-raped for suggesting a possible genetic factor.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:48 AM

@roth, the last Pangea was a lot longer than a few thousand years ago. @august, I somewhat agree with you. European genes have been selected specifically in part for iq while other genes have been selected in different environments for different reasons. However, iq does not predict salary or job performance nearly as accurately as Emotional Quotient or EQ and you can look that up. As with most things in biology this is likely a mix of both nature @august and nurture @vb.

24c27817ad9ac518946dda4a131737b5

on May 16, 2013
at 01:42 AM

One need only go to the inner city and visit schools where the majority of the students cannot hold two pieces of information in their head, necessary to addition and subtraction, and order of operation, etc., never mind post-junior-high mathematics. It's a genetic issue, primarily.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:21 AM

Here's an interesting read, VB: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7685610/Humans-share-Neanderthal-genes-from-interbreeding-50000-years-ago.html

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:20 AM

Read the authors comment. It is not iq but a regression model that he believes estimates iq based on two factors.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:20 AM

VB, the "continent" of Africa thousands of years ago was connected to South America, Europe, Asia and possibly even Antarctica and some continents that have since sunk off the coast of India. The out-of-Africa theory is some liberal African-American-placating hypothesis.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Your iq map is not accurate, read the authors take. It's a model not measures

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 15, 2013
at 11:54 PM

Right, it's stupid artifact of the test. Hell, the IQ map might as well be a map of degreee of industrialization.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 15, 2013
at 11:16 PM

The research I am thinking about is on omega-3 and iodine in particular. Hard to do randomized, double-blind research on this topic (excuse us while we make your child dumb!). Here's one meta analysis on iodine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15734706

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 15, 2013
at 09:54 PM

Matt, 60-70 sounds about right. IQ tests do not take into account cultural differences. To someone who was never taught what the difference between a square and a rectangle is, they will do poorly on IQ tests, even if they're "intelligent." IQ tests are a Western by-product. I'm sure if Africa came up with its own system of administering IQ tests, the results would be in line with Western IQ tests. Also it's a bit erroneous to assume that high IQ = high intelligence. It's more accurate to say that high IQ = high intelligence POTENTIAL.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 15, 2013
at 09:33 PM

I once watched a documentary about MENSA people and there was this woman on there saying a 20 point IQ difference makes relationships impossible. I could tell by her face & gestures that she was remembering a man she had really wanted to be with. This had a profound effect on me because it shed light on a lot of things I went through. It feels just as bad, and as random as if it were the color of your skin that was the problem, but genetics is what it is. I am never going to be a world class sprinter, according to 23andme. This is the same deal.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:52 PM

I was wondering if you would see causation in lab rats or some other animal experiments. If nutritional deficiencies cause lower intelligence in animals, it could be the same for people. But I do not really know if anybody researched this.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:48 PM

That IQ map cannot be right, you're telling me the average in most of Africa is in the range of 60-70, mild disability? And that's the average, apply a bell curve, you'd have a sizable population that's certifiably disabled. Bullshit.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:44 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_of_health_on_intelligence

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:29 PM

LOL - I am not taking your answer seriously. We all are Africans by default. I see a strong correlation between nutritional deficiencies, immune function and I.Q. and it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:21 PM

@CD - don't even start me on Saudi Arabia. I am sure you have met many very intelligent people - I am talking averages. I am a teacher, I am looking at it from the educational standpoint, like NAEP scores. They vary by country.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:18 PM

http://www.psmag.com/culture-society/a-compensation-for-cold-weather-higher-iqs-25414/

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:12 PM

The only place I know of where everyone has an above average IQ in the US would be **Lake Wobegon**, Minnesota.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Lol, there are no states in the US with an average IQ of 115, or anywhere near that.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:07 PM

OK, now that I read it. These are not actual IQs. This is the result of some random person trying to estimate the IQs: "I created a regression formula for estimating state IQs based on infant mortality and life expectancy" -- So it has nothing to do with a measured IQ

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:05 PM

There is simply no way that map is accurate. The highest IQ (average by state) in the US is 101.5? I remember seeing numbers closer to 115 as the average.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:54 PM

As for the IQ tests - here is the US source: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/iq-by-state-us-2

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:50 PM

I agree, but I think your point is off. economic/ political problems cannot be solved by eliminating nutritional deficiencies -- But, ensuring that basic necessities of life (water, food, shelter) are met, then secondary issues like economic/ political problems can be worked on.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:48 PM

to continue my last point. Some of the smartest people I work with were born, raised, and educated in the middle east (especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and India. And yet, on your IQ map, they would be in the lower 70s. Sure, N=1, but still.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:46 PM

I think addressing nutritional deficiencies should be the top priority. Education is secondary to eating right.

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7 Answers

best answer

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:42 PM

I think you probably do have correlation in some sense, but definitely not causation (which, I think, is more what you are wanting to see).

Does poverty and lack of nutrition cause a lowered general intelligence due to nutritional deficiencies? Yes.

Do economic / political problems exist BECAUSE of poverty and lack of nutrition? I think that one's a lot harder to tease out, chicken and egg style.

And if we did decide to attack these issues with an "onslaught of food," most likely this would happen: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Food-aid-shipments-eaten-up-by-Afghanistan-s-2885213.php (synopsis: warlords intercept food and it goes onto black market).

If you haven't read "Guns, Germs & Steel" by Jared Diamond, you should. You would probably enjoy it.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 15, 2013
at 11:16 PM

The research I am thinking about is on omega-3 and iodine in particular. Hard to do randomized, double-blind research on this topic (excuse us while we make your child dumb!). Here's one meta analysis on iodine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15734706

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:52 PM

I was wondering if you would see causation in lab rats or some other animal experiments. If nutritional deficiencies cause lower intelligence in animals, it could be the same for people. But I do not really know if anybody researched this.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:22 AM

I would add vitamin A, D and K.

2
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on May 15, 2013
at 10:50 PM

I saw a documentary on this. Its not so much a lack of proper nutrition, its a lack of food in general in places like Africa. The kids spend most of the time starving, brain growth in their early years is greatly hindered, and yes, it affects their IQ. They showed a girl who was like 10 I think, she couldn't even draw a circle.

2
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:53 PM

I'm not sure if there's a correlation here with IQ.

First, the map shows who are good at taking Western based IQ tests, but not necessarily true brain power. Thrown into the wilds of Africa, very few of us high IQ people could survive. I'm really good at figuring out what the next item in a pictorial sequence is. I'm not good at determining what plants are poisonous and the trails and markings of dangerous animals, which takes a lot of brain power as well.

Second, harsher environments (both economically and physically) might hinder development of cognitive skills. There's less formal schooling and getting the brain to think a certain way. Even though IQ isn't necessarily related to education, deprevation of healthy learning environments could alter these abilities.

Third, economic opportunities to move a more developed countries attract the brightest from those developing countries, creating a brain drain. I've worked with many brilliant people from Africa, India and Haiti who make 10X more here than they ever could in their home country.

I am sure that nutrition plays a role in brain functioning, but I'm not sure if that's the meaning behind that graphic.

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on May 15, 2013
at 07:09 PM

This is a very interesting question and when you first look at how each map complements the other it's pretty stunning! but we also have to consider that at the same places that there is economic/political problems there's also "poor" education systems (sorry I'd never also want to hurt anyone's feelings or to be derogatory to other cultures), a non industrialized culture, etc which in my opinion can even correlate more with the IQ distribution as a result. A brain trained from birth to think in a very different way to solve critical neolithic/modern problems may score high in this IQ tests... just doing another hypothesis here hehe.

BTW, you could also look at how much IQ and degenerative illnesses correlate to each other, I guess we would find interesting data. May these modern countries be the ones that are actually overfeed?

1
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on May 15, 2013
at 10:45 PM

While this kind of question makes me trepidatious, the opportunity for racism being very high, I would like to add a few things.

IQ tests have a strong historical tie to Eugenics, and were often used to limit immigration. Especially in the west, they were used to screen out poor immigrants from other countries. They measure a very specific type of "intelligence", that isn't very malleable to individual skill or ability. This kind of map serves a very good function for western countries, who are, after all, only trying to protect their national interest by keeping out the riff-raff (I am not saying that about you, but it is very sarcastic).

These countries experience nutritional difficulties largely through western pirating of their wealth and resources. Historically, did they have such problems? So we cause the problems, then we measure how much they fail to live up to our ideal, and keep them out. Instead of this map, one showing which western countries make the most money from these countries would demonstrate better what the result of "deficiencies" are.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:09 AM

Let me assure you, I am like 200% anti-racist. My point is not about the race, but NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES. I am actually thinking in terms that if people eradicate nutritional deficiencies, maybe it can impact the overall economical development? But I could be wrong.

Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

(7370)

on May 17, 2013
at 01:23 AM

I didn't mean that you were, just this type of info is often used that way. And the economic disparity would need to be addressed first, because the people can't afford better food.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:45 PM

Chicken and egg:

In areas of vast nutritional deficiencies, is education really a top priority? Should it be?

Also, please remember that there are a few recognized "IQ" tests. I don't know where your data comes from, but there is one tailored to US, one to Western Europe, one to Easter Europe, and one to Eastern Asia. -- Could it be that you are seeing an influence of a test culture and not actual intelligence?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:21 PM

@CD - don't even start me on Saudi Arabia. I am sure you have met many very intelligent people - I am talking averages. I am a teacher, I am looking at it from the educational standpoint, like NAEP scores. They vary by country.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:48 PM

to continue my last point. Some of the smartest people I work with were born, raised, and educated in the middle east (especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia) and India. And yet, on your IQ map, they would be in the lower 70s. Sure, N=1, but still.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:07 PM

OK, now that I read it. These are not actual IQs. This is the result of some random person trying to estimate the IQs: "I created a regression formula for estimating state IQs based on infant mortality and life expectancy" -- So it has nothing to do with a measured IQ

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:16 AM

Okay, here is another iq map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:National_IQ_Lynn_Vanhanen_2006_IQ_and_Global_Inequality.png

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:10 PM

Lol, there are no states in the US with an average IQ of 115, or anywhere near that.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:18 PM

http://www.psmag.com/culture-society/a-compensation-for-cold-weather-higher-iqs-25414/

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:50 PM

I agree, but I think your point is off. economic/ political problems cannot be solved by eliminating nutritional deficiencies -- But, ensuring that basic necessities of life (water, food, shelter) are met, then secondary issues like economic/ political problems can be worked on.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:54 PM

As for the IQ tests - here is the US source: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/iq-by-state-us-2

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:05 PM

There is simply no way that map is accurate. The highest IQ (average by state) in the US is 101.5? I remember seeing numbers closer to 115 as the average.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 15, 2013
at 07:12 PM

The only place I know of where everyone has an above average IQ in the US would be **Lake Wobegon**, Minnesota.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Your iq map is not accurate, read the authors take. It's a model not measures

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Actually, it is the same, but it has the actual scores listed.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 06:46 PM

I think addressing nutritional deficiencies should be the top priority. Education is secondary to eating right.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:23 PM

I see a strong genetic reality to I.Q. Most people are stupid, and the intelligent tend to suffer more at the hands of their own family/race/class than anyone else.

But given that I can see differences between people closely related to me that, until I started eating paleo, ate similarly to me, I doubt it. These I.Q. studies consistently show the same breakdowns when people deign to break them down across race. Now, nutrition can make a huge difference on a personal level, but I doubt that will effect the stats much since things like nutrition tend to raise all boats.

Technically though, the correct answer to your question is yes. This is because you were so worried about offending people that you asked a vague question to which the obvious answer is yes, regardless of the implications of the first map.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2013
at 08:29 PM

LOL - I am not taking your answer seriously. We all are Africans by default. I see a strong correlation between nutritional deficiencies, immune function and I.Q. and it has nothing to do with race or ethnicity.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:20 AM

VB, the "continent" of Africa thousands of years ago was connected to South America, Europe, Asia and possibly even Antarctica and some continents that have since sunk off the coast of India. The out-of-Africa theory is some liberal African-American-placating hypothesis.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:48 AM

@roth, the last Pangea was a lot longer than a few thousand years ago. @august, I somewhat agree with you. European genes have been selected specifically in part for iq while other genes have been selected in different environments for different reasons. However, iq does not predict salary or job performance nearly as accurately as Emotional Quotient or EQ and you can look that up. As with most things in biology this is likely a mix of both nature @august and nurture @vb.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 16, 2013
at 12:21 AM

Here's an interesting read, VB: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7685610/Humans-share-Neanderthal-genes-from-interbreeding-50000-years-ago.html

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 15, 2013
at 09:33 PM

I once watched a documentary about MENSA people and there was this woman on there saying a 20 point IQ difference makes relationships impossible. I could tell by her face & gestures that she was remembering a man she had really wanted to be with. This had a profound effect on me because it shed light on a lot of things I went through. It feels just as bad, and as random as if it were the color of your skin that was the problem, but genetics is what it is. I am never going to be a world class sprinter, according to 23andme. This is the same deal.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:50 AM

+1 though, I can't believe you got down-vote-raped for suggesting a possible genetic factor.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 16, 2013
at 05:13 AM

I disagree with the idea of a genetic factor - it is about the gut flora as well because according to GAP's doctor mothers influence their children's flora. Plus, 100% of all autistic kids in her practice had mothers with insufficient gut flora.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on May 16, 2013
at 01:20 PM

All environmental factors that effect I.Q. also effect mine, and folks like me are the ones who implement that stuff. The map made me think of DHA and butter as things that could be researched. These are things that I already eat. So, research into nutrition & I.Q. is likely to make the map look worse. The smart eat more of the I.Q. foods because they value intelligence, while the stupid go pick up a product made by fermenting grains. Even if you somehow enforce nutrition across the land, genetics determines the starting point.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on May 16, 2013
at 10:44 AM

Some people are genetically predisposed to have different heights, different levels of physical ability, disease susceptibility, etc. some of these genes are even regulated by certain vitamins, minerals, nutrients, activities. Both genes and upbringing are going to effect a child's iq. I'd be more interested in knowing what their eq is though, since that can be a better predictor of success at work than iq.

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