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French Scientists Link Higher BMI with Lower IQ

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the hey-I-resemble-that-remark dept.

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Xemu writes "French scientists have linked obesity to lower IQ reports the Telegraph. In a new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults, people with a low body mass index (BMI) could recall 30% more words in a vocabulary test than those who were obese. The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later. In the United States, 30% of the population is obese according to OECD. That's the highest rate of obesity anywhere. Do these high obesity rates affect the average IQ of the population?" (Of course, this sidesteps discussion of whether IQ tests measure anything significant at all.)

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frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446143)

asfd asdf

Re:frist psot (5, Funny)

Pflipp (130638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446289)

wow, you must be fat!!

Timothy has low IQ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446151)

Why else would you say something as stupid as "(Of course, this sidesteps discussion of whether IQ tests measure anything significant at all.)"?

There are decades of data to prove the corellation between IQ and actual, demonstrated intelligence and success in the real world. Maybe you would like to clarify yourself, Timothy?

Re:Timothy has low IQ? (5, Insightful)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446221)

Indeed, Timothy does oversimplify the matter.

It is slightly beside the point though because the study noticed a drop in 'cognitive function' in obese people, not IQ. Cognitive function most certainly is significant, albeit specifically to the function measured (which in this case was primarily arthmimetic and vocabulary). It was only the reporting newspaper which introduced IQ, probably for the benefit of dumber/fatter readers.

Re:Timothy has low IQ? (3, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446249)

IQ testing issues aside, the summary suggests results for memory recall... not IQ.

Re:Timothy has low IQ? (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446305)

I know of no comprehensive definition of intelligence that is agreed upon by a majority of scientists, but if you have evidence to the contrary feel free to provide it. Obviously, there isn't going to be any scientific definition of "success in the real world".

Re:Timothy has low IQ? (4, Funny)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446395)

There are decades of data to prove the corellation between IQ and actual, demonstrated intelligence and success in the real world. Maybe you would like to clarify yourself, Timothy?

The disproportionately high representation in groups like MENSA of lonely singles who earn below average salaries in unsatisfying jobs seems to counter your "decades of data" (which I have never seen.)

Or are you defining "demonstrated intelligence" as the ability to recite Star Trek dialog by rote and "success in the real world" as having your very own crafts store at the local Renaissance Festival?

How can this be true... (0, Troll)

Weston O'Reilly (1008937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446153)

... given that most Slashdotters are tremendous lardasses?

Re:How can this be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446213)

They said people with a lower BMI could recall 30% more words. Slashdotters have high BMI's and have given up the social graces and ability to converse with the female species, in order to retain all of the Star * knowledge (Trek, Wars, Gate)

- Anonymous Coward (Body by Burger King)

Re:How can this be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446225)

Exactly! Almost everyone I know in the field is "large". Hell, fat people are some of the brightest people I know! lol

Think about it... We sit in front of our computers all day! I can't be the only one who reads Slashdot while chain-eating Twinkies! ;)

Re:How can this be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446303)

And thank God for microwavable pot pies, hot pockets, and TV dinners. I never have to move further than a 3 foot radius, which is convenient because that is my body radius!

Re:How can this be true... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446283)

from the hey-I-resemble-that-remark dept.

I believe you mean resent, but on a 2nd thought, maybe you're trying to prove the point of the article :P

Re:How can this be true... (1, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446495)

"... I resemble that ..." is a classic joke. Not sure if you are kidding or what. just google for "I resemble that" and you will see lots of examples of the joke. It works like this: Speaker is presumed dumb. Something negative about something in general is stated. Speaker says "hey -- I resemble that". The joke is that the speaker really meant "resent", but being so dumb used an incorrect word to unwittingly say something truthful (but something which he fails to recognize) about himself. The joke is essentially about self-delusion.

Re:How can this be true... (1)

Weston O'Reilly (1008937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446297)

Troll? I'm no troll - I'm paying everyone a compliment. Think about it - which would you rather be, thin or smart?

Re:How can this be true... (0, Offtopic)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446375)

Would I be smart enough to fuck sexy women without being thin?

So MENSA members (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446365)

are all Mr. Universe competitors? What?!

IQ means nothing... (1, Redundant)

Comatosis (798554) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446161)

My IQ is only 100 but I am a lot smarter than most people for my 'low' IQ. Yes I have a weight problem but I don't blame it on IQ, I blame it on american diet and adverting on TV and in magazines.

Re:IQ means nothing... (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446245)

Yes I have a weight problem but I don't blame it on IQ, I blame it on american diet and adverting on TV and in magazines.

Which you aren't smart enough to ignore.

KFG

Re:IQ means nothing... (-1, Flamebait)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446301)

I blame it on american diet and adverting on TV and in magazines. You have no one to blame but yourself, I have no one to blame but myself. Sounds like you might be a liberal?

Re:IQ means nothing... (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446279)

so you're blaming your weight problem on other people. It couldn't be because you don't eat right or get adequate exercise.

Yeah, you're totally smart.

Re:IQ means nothing... (5, Insightful)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446319)

My IQ is only 100 but I am a lot smarter than most people for my 'low' IQ.

Sorry, fatty, but everybody thinks they're smarter than everyone else. Everbody. It's okay though, you can take solace in the fact that everyone has the same lame excuses for their short comings.

IQ means nothing, MENSA is pointless and so on (5, Funny)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446487)

You're right, IQ is incredibly meaningless. A well-socialized individual with a good work ethic, who is willing to parlay whatever gray matter they have into the task at hand will always prove successful at life. Many of the under-20 uber-nerds who cling to their IQ scores as proof positive of their superiority over others haven't figured this out yet, and to their credit, it's something that's only realized with time: Intelligence is both nature and nurture--the daughter of a doctor and lawyer becomes a bum if she has no direction or commitment. The daughter of a field hand and a grocer becomes the world's most well-respected biologist if she has direction and commitment.

-------------

Funny story: The guy downstairs had his "MENSA Bulletin" delivered to my mailbox by mistake (probably due to the innerwebs and lack of blue mailboxes!), so of course I kept it. I've been leaving it prominently near the john for some high brow bathroom reading. And man oh man, have I been disappointed. The articles are poorly conceived and written, the letters from readers absolutely dumb. The pictures of "smart people" show them not even badly dressed, but incapably dressed--as in , for example, they clearly missed belt loops when they were putting on their belts (Is looking accidentally slovenly for nationally distributed photographs the mark of a genuinely intelligent person who likes themselves? I submit that it is not.)

So my friends have been coming over, and when they inevitably have to use the restroom, they see the magazine and go "You're in MENSA?" all accusingly. And of course I pretend to be, and mutter something about how "we're trying to reform the government under our own intelligent rule" (did you see that episode of The Simpsons too?)

And as I can feel their opinion of me lessening, lessening...I finally let on that, no, of course I'm not a part of fucking MENSA. And every time, they respond with something like "Oh I was gonna say, because those people are idiots!" And then we page through the magazine together, mocking it the entire time. And we live happily ever after. The end.

The average IQ? (-1, Redundant)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446165)

You can't raise or lower the average IQ by definition.

The only thing you can do is alter what the average IQ means.

Re:The average IQ? (2, Insightful)

fireduck (197000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446275)

That can't be true. Modern medical advances, as well and sanitation, have raised the average life expectancy in the U.S. considerably over the past hundred years. So, an average certainly can be raised or lowered, but it still doesn't change the fact that half the population lies on either side of it (well, that's really the median, but I'm not going to be that picky.)

Re:The average IQ? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446413)

IQ is defined such that the mean is exactly 100 and the standard deviation from the mean is exactly 15.

Therefore by definition the average IQ cannot change. If everyone suddenly got a lot smarter, the average IQ would be the same as it is now: exactly 100.

Re:The average IQ? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446429)

But alas! When IQ was dreamt up, the average among a population of test scores was defined as an IQ of 100.

the average IQ can change :-( (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446315)

It's set with 100 being the average IN SOME PARTICULAR YEAR.

Yuck, if you want to compare somebody against the average. It's nice though if you want to see how the population is changing.

BMI is not accurate (4, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446169)

The Body Mass Index is not accurate. It is basically mass vs height, and makes no distinction between fat and muscle, both of which increase mass measurements.

During the rainy season, I don't exersize, so I lose muscle mass and get skinny, and I look - pardon me for saying it - like a geek. And my BMI is normal ( and allegedly healthy ). But during the other ten months, I am more muscular ( and probably a lot healthier ) and yet I am technically obese, according to the BMI.

Do I feel smarter? Heck, I'm a slashdotter - I think I'm smart all the time.

It's obvious from this research... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446285)

that jocks are just plain dumb and nerds are intelligent.

Re:BMI is not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446353)

If you are going from normal to obese in ten months and then back down to normal in two months, then most of what you are gaining and losing is fat.

Re:BMI is not accurate (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446359)

You are a single data point.

Yes, BMI makes no fat/muscle distinction and recognizes a body builder as "obese." (BTW, how much weight do you gain to go from "normal" to "obese"? Because there is an "overweight" level between, under 30 BMI IIRC).

But I think it is safe to say, that the overall trend is that people with a higher BMI have a higher fat %.

I know, from personal experience, when I'm significantly thinner, my brain is less occupied with food. I feel mentally and physically faster. Of course, more studies are necessary to make an actual link or whether my anecdotal evidence is just that.

Re:BMI is not accurate (2, Informative)

maetenloch (181291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446371)

I'm a big non-fan of the BMI as well. I lift weights and have quite a bit of muscle for my height, yet by the BMI charts I'm obese even though my body fat is relatively low. Unfortunately life insurance companies and many doctors take it as a reliable statistic for determining whether you're fat or not. Even the military uses it for checking if you're overweight. However so many buff guys were failing it yet were in excellent shape, that they now allow you to take a body fat test if you fail the BMI requirement.

Re:BMI is not accurate (3, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446407)

The Body Mass Index is not accurate. It is basically mass vs height, and makes no distinction between fat and muscle, both of which increase mass measurements.

Sounds right then, most body builders I've met aren't exactly bright...

BMI = Worthless (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446171)

(Of course, this sidesteps discussion of whether IQ tests measure anything significant at all.)

This also seems to sidestep discussion of whether BMI measures anything significant at all.
=Smidge=

Re:BMI = Worthless (1)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446415)

BMI may be worthless when comparing say a 22 to 24; not really that big of a deal.

However, if your BMI is 30 or higher, then chances are pretty good you are a fat ass. Especially if you waist line is 40 inches or greater.

It is simply not healthy to have 20 pounds of fat sitting on your abdomen, even if you are some kind of muscle bound freak.

Re:BMI = Worthless (4, Interesting)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446493)

(Of course, this sidesteps discussion of whether IQ tests measure anything significant at all.)

Concur but I have a different take on this wording. Of course IQ tests measure something significant. The question may be whether or not "IQ tests are a signigicant measure of anything at all". My wife is an elementry teacher and we recently discussed how children are placed into gifted classes. She said that they used to do IQ testing but that has fallen out of vogue due to their being a rather politically incorrect measure (not to mention all the other types of "intelligence" (emotional, creative, et crappra)). This is sad. IQ tests are a near-perfect indicator of intelligence. That is they have a very low incidence of Type I (false positive) error. The cultural biases come into play and lead to false negatives (Type II errors). It seems the logical approach would be to use a combination of tests or qualitative assessments rather than ditching a good but non-perfect test.

Uh Oh! (1)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446173)

This has frightening implications for the majority of us /.'ers

Re:Uh Oh! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446209)

You mean we really ARE "big boned"?!?!?!

Re:Uh Oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446363)

What about those of us who fit the skinny geek profile, instead of the fat geek one? Did we somehow magically gain +1 IQ points because of this study?

Some "research"... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446185)

Yet another reason to hate the French.

Jokes! (0, Offtopic)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446197)

Reminds me of the classic:

"Noting that ball-point pens rely on gravity in order to function, the USA spent over 12 million dollars on developing a range of Nitrogen-pressurized ball-point pens which would work in a zero gravity enviroment. The Russians on the other-hand just spent 50 cents on a box of pencils"

I knew there was something behind all those "dumb American" jokes.
Please reply with your best ones!

Re:Jokes! (4, Insightful)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446327)

Yeah, what no one bothers to go into is that the Americans tried pencils, but realized that broken pencil points would float away and get into everything, possibly harming delicate electronics...

Re:Jokes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446373)

Yeah, real funny story there. Except it not true. NASA didn't develop the pen, some guy named Paul C. Fisher did. And the russians likes the pens just as much as NASA does, cause broken pieces of lead can be a hazard in zero gravity.

http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/spacepen.asp [snopes.com]

IQ Tests (5, Informative)

stevemm81 (203868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446207)

(Of course, this sidesteps discussion of whether IQ tests measure anything significant at all.)


This wasn't a general purpose IQ test. It was a specific test of people's ability to recall words. They're talking about memory in particular, not some fuzzy idea of general intelligence.

Re:IQ Tests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446311)

I'm betting the story poster "Timothy" is a bit on the obese side ;)

Re:IQ Tests (3, Insightful)

r00t (33219) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446451)

Even if not, the comment is idiotic.

It's sour grapes, political correctness, and anti-science. We damn well do know that people with high IQ are usually more successful than those with low IQ. This is especially true if you compare an IQ 80 person to an IQ 115 person. (rather than 140 and 170, where social problems can make things interesting)

IQ is unpopular because it is mostly in-born, inheritable, and unevenly distributed. There is a sort of unfairness that goes against Western ideals. The idea that anybody can pull themself up out of poverty, that every child has a chance to succeed intellectually, is threatened by this. Part of the reaction is to deny IQ, and part of the reaction is to de-emphasize scientific endeavors and thinking.

Funny, we have no problem with the advantages which athletic and beautiful people have. These are somewhat related to IQ though, via general health, helping us to remain in denial of IQ.

Stupid Americans (-1, Flamebait)

Chaensaw (1013949) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446215)

Bush was elected TWICE (or allowed to take office twice, anyway)... what do YOU think?

Re:Stupid Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446287)

Since you bring it up, it might be worth mentioning that 7 out of 10 americans didn't vote for him.

Re:Stupid Americans (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446293)

I think people think differently. And thus assuming that the way you think is correct, is incorrect.

Re:Stupid Americans (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446401)

Bush was elected TWICE (or allowed to take office twice, anyway)... what do YOU think?

What do I think? .....

I think you are probably fat. :P

This story is riddled with nonsense (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446231)

Not the study, but rather the first linked article.

First, they make the classic error of attributing causation when the study found correlation. If that was in the original study, then I'd question the researcher's methodology, but I suspect the blame lies with whoever wrote the article. Testing people's intelligence and comparing their weight does not show a causitive link between wieght and intellect. It could just as easily show that poor judgement translates into bad eating habits and low IQ.

Second, the criticism they reported came from a politician who tried to use anecdotal evidence to debunk the link. That's right, she said she knew witless skinny people and clever fat people, so the study must therefor be wrong. Someone ought to tell her that the plural of "anecdote" is not "evidence".

Re:This story is riddled with nonsense (0, Troll)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446417)

Nope, it looks like the obesity is causing it. From the story intro: "The fatter subjects also showed a higher rate of cognitive decline when they were retested five years later."

Re:This story is riddled with nonsense (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446447)

The quote from teh politician is *awesome*. It is a stupid study, and she stated her opinion, not her rigorous analysis of it

Re:This story is riddled with nonsense (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446461)

It's the same as with the correlation of storks and newborn children: If you have many storks in a region, you can expect higher birthrates. This correlation is correct. It does not mean that the stork carries the newborn. Storks breed in rural areas, where they find their prey (mostly frogs and small rodents), and people in rural areas also tend to have more children than people living in cities.

So obesity is (at least in Western and Central Europe, the study is french after all!) negatively correlated with the social status. People with low income tend to be more obese than people with high income. People with a high IQ also tend to have higher income than people with a lower IQ. Thus both correlations together tell you, that obese people have in average a lower IQ. If there is a causality, it may be this: Lower IQ -> lower wages -> more prone to obesity.

As a fat man... (2, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446233)

I can speak for certain that I am not as dumber as other people.

Seriously, though, I test pretty well for intelligence, but being fat is part of a vicious cycle with laziness and depression, leading to a lack of achievement. I wonder, in fact, if the results would be similar in the population of people with untreated major depression regardless of BMI. Based on no scientific data at all, I would suspect increased BMI as being a symptom of another problem which could be the causative factor in the poor IQ showing.

Re:As a fat man... (0, Redundant)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446369)

I am not as dumber

as dumb

Not that I agree with the study but watch your spelling. You might not come off as intelligent as you claim to be/are in an online forum.

Re:As a fat man... (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446437)

I'm going to pray that you're joking. If not, then I'm going to have to ask for your height, weight and percentage of body fat.

Re:As a fat man... (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446445)

"Wooosh!"

That's the sound of the obvious joke going straight over your head. It was a bit of a give-away that he/she started the next paragraph with "Seriously"...

Re:As a fat man... (1)

PigleT (28894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446383)

You're probably onto something.

As for causation: so if I run around a hill a few times, I'll get cleverer again?

I dunno (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446241)

Can we draw any real conclusions without knowing their testing methodology, etc etc etc. How'd they normalize their data?

This last bit from the TFA sums up how I feel about it:
"But Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister, said that the research seemed unsustainable. "You just need to look around the world and you will see hundreds of thin nitwits and clever fat people,""

It is worth pointing out that good looks & a tall height can be as relevant to your success in life as your weight.

Re:I dunno (1)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446453)

"You just need to look around the world and you will see hundreds of thin nitwits and clever fat people,"

The study is indicative of trends, it is not saying "all fat people are stupid."

I would probably not have to look too far, for example, to find a dozen people who have smoked 30 years or more and who do not have lung cancer. Can I deduce from this that smoking does not cause lung cancer?

good looks & a tall height (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446469)

You are obviously not familiar with this politician! She is both short and not most peoples idea of a pin up girl.

I do believe that she is fairly clever though.

Reverse causality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446243)

I would imagine that the relationship is the other way around: dumber people get fat more often than smart people.

Not IQ, but energy level (3, Insightful)

Goosey (654680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446251)

IANAOR (I am not an obesity researcher), but it seems to be that this does not indicate lower IQ, but rather a lower energy level. I think it is a rather uncontroversial statement that those suffering from obesity have a much lower level of energy. I have experienced it myself during extended periods (several weeks or more) of not having regular exercise: You become lethargic, tired, and find it difficult to concentrate on things. I would imagine that this is a good indication of why those suffering obesity would score poorer on an IQ test.

Re:Not IQ, but energy level (0)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446333)

Not just that, but the actual diet makes a difference. A lot of Slashdot can probably try the following experiment (I did it with several people, the result is consistantly the same).

First, have a typical diet of someone who's obese for 2-4 weeks or something. Hamburgers, chips, etc. Avoid veggies, fruits, whatever. Go to work (as a programmer, or anything that actualy requires concentration, thought, memory, focus...) everyday as normal. Keep track of how productive you are.

Next, for just 1 week, 7 days, nothing more, do whatever you want, but start the day with a banana/strawberry/orange juice smoothie every single morning no exception. In my case, the difference in productivity is something as rediculous as 30-50% (and i'm not exagerating). Results vary, of course, but the difference is -extreme-. So it goes without saying that the diet of someone who's fat is probably lacking in slowly consumed sugars, Omega 3 fatty acids, and other things that help their heads.

Link with poverty (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446261)

In most industrialized countries and especially in the US, obesity is strongly correlated with low income. Since there is also a strong link between low income and low IQ scores, there may be no causal relationship at all between obesity and a lowered IQ.

Re:Link with poverty (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446505)

Well, if the French think I'm getting smarter [slashdot.org] , then does this mean I'll get richer too? Woohooo!

The problem with these studies... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446267)

beyond the issues that have been raised already (like BMI not being necessarly representative, IQ tests not being particularly good, etc), there's the following problem: Is the fact that you're fat makes you brain go to hell, OR, is it that idiots are more likely to not realise that there's 200-300 calories in a can of soda.

My vote is on the later. Because honestly, I don't see anything about body fat that could affect your head (to -this- extent). So its almost certain that its people who don't have a memory good enough to remember their grade school biology lessons about how there's fat in other things than steak.

This actually kinda makes sense... (1)

Arceliar (895609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446271)

If we assume IQ tests are valid measures of intelligence, this actually kind of makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Humans have always survived because of our relatively high intelligence by comparison to everything else in the world. A person who clearly has access to sufficient food is going to naturally necessitate less intelligence to survive than someone who has to struggle to meet every meal. Although the circumstances of the modern world have changed, such behavior could easily stick around. If your body 'thinks' you're in need of food, it might change its chemestry to stimulate more thought.

Of course, this is all very hypothetical, I have absolutely no evidence whatsoever to back it up. And it still falls on that assumption that it's okay to assume IQ tests measure something relevant. And when you assume anything, that's exactly what you do: make an ASS out of U and ME.

What Words? (5, Funny)

malvidin (951569) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446273)

How much do you want to bet that the words weren't types of food?

Wrong Question. (1)

PieterBr (1013955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446299)

The Question should be: does low IQ increase BMI? (Are Dumb people fatter?)

Fat and Stupid? (5, Funny)

Ranger (1783) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446307)

The French are calling us fat, lazy, and now stupid. Great, well at least we aren't a bunch cheese eating surrender monkeys. Time to eat some more pork rinds and watch American Idol. I hope I don't have to get out of my chair to find my remote. Found it. It was under a fold of fat. I also found my car keys.

Re:Fat and Stupid? (1)

maggern (597586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446357)

That was really fat and stupid!

Now, pass me that pork

Re:Fat and Stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446485)

Now, pass me that pork
Why? Are you running for re-election?

Re:Fat and Stupid? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446439)

Ha! (+3 : Interesting)

I love mods with a sense of humor. But cmon, why not 'Informative'?

Re:Fat and Stupid? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446479)

All that other stuff is redundant, calling them French is enough. Imagine having French parents and being from Texas, the horror!

Ah the french. (1)

valkabo (840034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446313)

Ah yes the french... leave it to them to say "The Fatter you are, the dumber you are." This seems more like a Correlation then any actual scientific proof.. Is anyone else getting very sick of "studies" that basically say this: "We noticed that A and B seem to have some kind of realtonship.. They clearly have a cause and effect realtonship!" and then it being presented as fact? Heres my idea to some of the great scientist out there in the world.. If you can't prove a direct realtonship its probaly not true.

Re:Ah the french. (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446455)

Did you mean: relationship ?

Fat Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446317)

30% of people in the US are obese, are the other 70% foreigners?

Not hiring! (0, Flamebait)

maggern (597586) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446321)

I'm never hiring a fat person again. They have no self disipline.
This is no fat-bashing. Seriously, our most important asset in life is our body, and they don't even care about maintaining that asset(!). How can I then trust any important workrelated issue/decision with them?

Re:Not hiring! (1)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446399)

That is specious reasoning. A person can be absolutely outstanding in one field and suck in others. Now if you want to argue that the fat person may have emotional issues that they deal with by over eating you might have a more plausible thesis statement. Hell I've known lard asses that were absolutely brilliant people but it was obvious that they ate for emotional reasons.

Re:Not hiring! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446483)

Linus Torvalds comes to mind...

though by US (he's Finnish but now in the US iirc) standards he's probably not overweight by European ones he certainly is.

Re:Not hiring! (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446509)

I'm never hiring a fat person again. They have no self disipline.

I don't believe you're in a position to hire anybody. Otherwise you would realize that:

- what you just said is against the law (equal opportunity employment laws)
- you're implying that 30% of the United States have no self discipline, which is obviously stupid

I'll tell you another thing, something that I know first hand: I tend to gain weight easily. Before I left the US, I was very careful with my diet, but still had a hard time not making lard. Why? because it's just not very easy to find healthy food in the US. Now that I'm in Europe, I have easy access to healthier food and I have no trouble maintaining a decent weight.

You have to realize healthy food is hard to come by in the US: lean meat is virtually non-existant, dairy products from from hormone-injected cows, veggies have all kinds of pesticide on them, packaged products are laced with all kinds of unhealthy fat and sugars, etc... So while it's definitely not an excuse for fat people, the food available in the US is an additional hurdle if they try to loose weight.

opposite (0)

gon orrea (1013951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446323)

Maybe the opposite way: low IQ (or you are loosing it for other reason) implies you get higher BMI (mean values). For example: you loose IQ you view more TV -> you gain BMI I don't understand way the researchers are so convinced in BMI -> IQ

one thing to think about... (5, Insightful)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446335)

There are probably other factors involved here. For example, poverty has also been linked to obesity (in America.) And less intelligence can also be linked to poverty.

So does obesity somehow lead to mental decline? Or are people who are less intelligent more likely to let their physical health deteriorate?
Or maybe less intelligence leads to poverty which leads to obesity. Then again, it could be the other way around...

Correlation does not equal causation. If I had to place a bet, I would say that the link between obesity and intelligence isn't biological like the article is inferring. There may be some kind of link there, but I bet that other factors are more influential.

Causality (2, Insightful)

sc0p3 (972992) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446345)

This is probably mistaking causality.

Being overweight doesn't make you stupid,

being stupid means you have higher chance of getting over weight because you don't monitor diet/understand proper eating.

Re:Causality (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446367)

As i just posted, thats very very true, however, there's more to it. A diet that would allow one to be fit (lots of fruits and veggies, lots of fish, etc), is probably more likely to enhance the brain's capabilities than coke + hamburger + chips twice a day.

Whats almost 100% sure in my view, however, is that the actual body fat doesn't affect anything, or at the very least, very little compared to the above factor, and your explaination.

Poor people vs IQ (1)

TastyCakes (917232) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446355)

Now I hate to be apparently the first to bring this up, but in general poor people are fatter, true? I am aware that in America, this phenomenum has been diminishing in the last 20 years or so, and rich the rich have been closing the "fat gap", but is that the case in France? It wouldn't be that much of a stretch in my mind to believe that poor people have lower IQs. I wonder if you tested fat and thin people from the same socio-economic background if the results of this study would have been as striking.
Of course I didn't actually RTFA so maybe they already did that..

Life-style rather than brain munching fat boogies (1)

digitaldestiny (983745) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446387)

Disregarding the discussions of the relevance of IQ tests and the relevance of BMI, I feel inclined to think that the majority of those tested, who decreased the test score for the high BMI segment in the study, are neither physically active, nor intellectually active. Is it not true that the brain needs "maintenance" in the form of challanges and problem solving to maintain performance? If my theory is in any way conected to reality, it is more a question of life-style, rather than fat eating brain cells.

Faulty Logic (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446409)

This just goes to show you can 'prove' anything with 'results'. No matter how tainted they are or how much of an agenda you have.

My theorem, with the same numbers, is that people with lower IQ on average eat more and exercise less. Thus the results prove my theory.

Its all a scam these days, including so called 'science'.

Oblig. "Animal House" Quote (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446441)

Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.

Little explanation.... (2, Interesting)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446457)

Those experiments are not the first of the kind, and not the best explained for sure. In different ones link between obesity (it was percentage of fat not BMI) was also linked with IQ. Difference was that somebody who conducted experiments thought for a while over results (apparently that person wasn't fat - pun intetended). And result was:

Fat people need more oxygen that goes to fat tissues, so less goes to brain. Second: less blood with nutritions goes directly there.

They published also some proper tables with sugar and oxygen levels to prove their point. Other thing is total lack of excercise - that effectively slows down your heart, kidneys, liver, and so on. Not to mention that processing food in stomach requires a lot of energy. You know that feeling after eating a lot of food, especially fatty.
That explains why best geeks are good at what they do plus they have a dozen of intresting hobbies and not so uncommonly train some martials arts or something similar.

So go to the gym, NOW!

healthy choices (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446463)


If they were smart, they'd take better care of themselves.

Obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446467)

Well, obviously. Overweight people can't wield number 2 pencils and fill in those damn circles like the skinny, healthy kids.

It's discrimination! Overweight people should get more time on IQ tests.

Oh yeah? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16446471)

It's a French study. Is it on surrendering?

I bet they feel pretty stupid now for not going into Iraq with us.

They're also hurting because of the boycott Sith Lord O'Reilly declared.

[sadly necessary irony tag]

Correlation=Cause Confusion (2, Insightful)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446475)

Obesity leads to poor health which leads to diffuculty in concentration, stress, lower attention span etc. Also obese people are (statistically) less educated, with lower self-esteem etc. All of which correlate very well with the findings of this study. In otherwords obesity correlates well with doing badly in tests (IQ or any) for various reasons - it does not lower your IQ.

Any qualified sociologist could've made a fairly accurate hypothesis for the results of that study. But that's boring so people will want to see something in it ...

Oh well..

Dr. Doh! (NIMNO)
National reseach Institute for the Mind Numblingly Obvious

Perhaps... (4, Funny)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446497)

people with a low body mass index (BMI) could recall 30% more words in a vocabulary test than those who were obese

Then perhaps people get fat because they can't remember they have already eaten.

Again? (1)

Nicholas Bishop (1004153) | more than 7 years ago | (#16446499)

Not so long ago, it was black people that scientists could "prove" had lower intelligence. Now that we can't use that one anymore, thank god we've found a new target for society to discriminate against!
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