Spaniards are sharper, taller but bigger

14th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 December 2004, MADRID - Better food and healthcare mean younger Spaniards are not only much taller than mama and papa, but seem to have bigger and better brains, researchers at universities in Madrid and Barcelona have discovered.

14 December 2004

MADRID - Better food and healthcare mean younger Spaniards are not only much taller than mama and papa, but seem to have bigger and better brains, researchers at universities in Madrid and Barcelona have discovered.

Today's children are almost 10 percent brighter than their parents were, the British daily The Guardian reported.

Analysing tests carried out on groups of seven-year-olds in 1970 and 1999, the researchers found an increase in measured intelligence of 3 percent each decade. The findings of the study were published in the US journal Intelligence.

But rather than producing a generation of Einsteins, Spain appears to have sharply reduced the number of children who might previously have been classified as unintelligent.

While a quarter of seven-year-olds were rated at less than 45 on the Pressey IQ scale 30 years ago, only 5 percent now fall below that level.

The researchers say that most of the improvement in the tests has been in spatial intelligence, which is not easily taught, rather than verbal intelligence, which is.

Therefore, they put the improvements down to better nutrition and healthcare rather than to increased education.

Unfortunately, waistlines have also grown, with government figures indicating 16 percent of Spain's six to 12-year-olds are now obese, more than three times as many as 20 years ago.

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Subject: Spanish news

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