Children with a higher IQ score are more likely to be vegetarians in later life, according to a new study.
Researchers asked about the current diet of 8,170 30-year-olds who had previously been assessed for intelligence at age 10.
They found that 4.5% were vegetarian, although a third of these admitted to eating chicken or fish.
Higher IQ was associated with an increased likelihood of being vegetarian at age 30, even after adjustment for social class, education, qualifications and sex.
However, for vegetarians, the advantages of higher intelligence, education and social class was not matched by their income levels. 'It may be that ethical considerations determined not just their diet but also their choice of employment,' the authors suggest.
They add that the study does not rule out the possibility that a vegetarian diet has a beneficial effect on cognitive performance.
British Medical Journal Published online. doi:10.1136/bmj.39030.675069.55