When asked (as he often is) about his stupendously high intelligence, Alf has given the credit to his genes.
But perhaps another factor comes into considerations.
This possibility (if not likelihood) is raised by a study that suggests the longer a person is breastfed, the greater is his or her receptive language at 3 years of age and verbal and nonverbal intelligence at age 7 years.
The study has been published by JAMA Pediatrics.
A media release (here) says:
Breastfeeding longer is associated with better receptive language at 3 years of age and verbal and nonverbal intelligence at age 7 years, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.
Evidence supports the relationship between breastfeeding and health benefits in infancy, but the extent to which breastfeeding leads to better cognitive development is less certain, according to the study background.
The research was undertaken by a Mandy B. Belfort, M.D., M.P.H., of Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues.
They examined the relationships of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity with child cognition at ages 3 and 7 years.
They also studied the extent to which a mum’s consumption of fish during lactation affected associations of infant feeding and later cognition.
Researchers used assessment tests to measure cognition.
“In summary, our results support a causal relationship of breastfeeding in infancy with receptive language at age 3 and with verbal and nonverbal IQ at school age. These findings support national and international recommendations to promote exclusive breastfeeding through age 6 months and continuation of breastfeeding through at least age 1 year,” the authors conclude.
Alas, Alf’s mum can no longer be consulted on the matter of how long he was breast-fed and Mrs Grumble tossed out his Plunket book a few years ago during an over-zealous burst of spring cleaning.
Frankly, his attraction to good scotch always suggested to him he had been bottle-fed.
But when he thinks back, he was just as attracted – once upon a time – to the allure of a splendid set of hooters.