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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 385-401; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100385

The Role of Adolescent Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Prediction of Verbal Intelligence during Early Adulthood: A Genetically Informed Analysis of Twin Pairs

1
Department of Criminal Justice, College of Public Policy, University of Texas at San Antonio, 501 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78207, USA
2
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, 112 S. Copeland St., Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
3
Center for Social and Humanities Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 11 September 2014 / Accepted: 23 December 2014 / Published: 5 January 2015
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Abstract

A large body of research has revealed that nutrition and physical activity influence brain functioning at various stages of the life course. Nevertheless, very few studies have explored whether diet and exercise influence verbal intelligence as youth transition from adolescence into young adulthood. Even fewer studies have explored the link between these health behaviors and verbal intelligence while accounting for genetic and environmental factors that are shared between siblings. Employing data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the current study uses a sample of same-sex twin pairs to test whether youth who engage in poorer fitness and nutritional practices are significantly more likely to exhibit reduced verbal intelligence during young adulthood. The results suggests that, independent of the effects of genetic and shared environmental factors, a number of nutritional and exercise factors during adolescence influence verbal intelligence during adulthood. Limitations are noted and suggestions for future research are outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: nutrition; diet; physical activity; exercise; verbal intelligence; heritability; twins; DF (Defries-Fulker) analysis nutrition; diet; physical activity; exercise; verbal intelligence; heritability; twins; DF (Defries-Fulker) analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jackson, D.B.; Beaver, K.M. The Role of Adolescent Nutrition and Physical Activity in the Prediction of Verbal Intelligence during Early Adulthood: A Genetically Informed Analysis of Twin Pairs. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 385-401.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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