In the post-pandemic era, the dynamics of intelligence are changing.
IQ vs EQ has been a significant debate among scientists. In the modern period, scientists have relied on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) tests to measure how quickly different individuals can solve problems using reasoning. However, many have argued that IQ, or conventional intelligence may not encompass the full range of human intelligence.
Introduced in 1905 as a tool to assess intelligence levels in school children, IQ tests have remained the barometer for predicting future success. However, in a post-pandemic world where children spend more time indoors than outdoors with fewer social interactions, measuring and improving their emotional states have become increasingly critical as well1.
As a result, the other half, EQ, or Emotional Quotient, has assumed a bigger role than ever in human history.
Let us start with a clear idea of what EQ means
Experts defined EQ, also known as Emotional Quotient, as the ability to identify one’s own and other’s emotions. It is a relatively recent behavioural model used to decipher meaning behind one’s behaviour and emotions, thereby using this information to guide one’s thinking and actions2.
Is high IQ enough?
Often, any discussion about EQ is followed by a comparison with IQ.
However, it is important to note that both IQ and EQ play a unique role in your child’s overall development and their success in life. While parents ponder over IQ vs EQ, it shows that high IQ or experienced individuals who lacked EQ might not be successful3.
Meanwhile, when high IQ and/or experienced individuals are equipped with high EQ, the possibility of failure reduces to 3 to 4%. In other words, if one aspires to be successful, they do not only require a high IQ, as he or she should also possess a certain degree of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence in children is a better indicator of future success in relationships, health, and quality of life4. Children who score higher on EQ tests get better grades, spend more years in formal education, and make healthier lifestyle choices.
A high level of EQ is also linked to sound mental health, better relationships and eventually, better IQ scores. According to a research conducted in 2007, children with higher emotional intelligence are more focused, empathetic, and engaged in school5.
Eventually, it is less about pitting IQ vs EQ, but more about understanding the unique role of each.
How does good nutrition play a role in developing IQ and EQ?
Traditionally, it is believed that good nutrition supports a higher IQ while parental upbringing promotes a high EQ.
However, recent research suggests that nutrition is not only important for IQ development, but also essential for developing a high EQ at a young age6.
The importance of nutrition for EQ development
The impact of nutrition on EQ is most visible in the first five years of life in children. This is because a child’s brain develops to about 90% of an adult size by age five7. Therefore, early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed.
Nutrition is important, as the lack of essential nutrients not only affects the child’s physical growth, but their moods as well. For example, commonly known nutrients like Vitamin B6, Choline and folate are highly paramount in synthesising neurotransmitters – which is a brain chemical that regulates children’s memory and mood.
Thus, it is essential to consume foods filled with these nutrients as a deficiency of these nutrients may result in emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety in the child.
Additionally, adding milk to a child’s diet will help to support their brain development, as it contains protein and fat – which are required for the cells in the brain to develop optimally throughout the first few years of life. This is a key foundation in the development of a child’s IQ and EQ8.
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*Claim based on information aggregated and reported in part from data supplied by Nielsen through its Retail Measurement Services and in part from data inputs from other suppliers for the Child Nutrition segment (RB defined) for the 12-month period ending March 2020, for the defined RB geographic focus
1 De Boeck P, Gore LR, Gonzalez T, San Martin E. An alternative view on the measurement of intelligence and its history. Cambr Handbook Intellig. 2020:47-74. doi:10.1017/9781108770422.005
2 Segal, J., Smith, M., et al. (2023, January 9). Improving emotional intelligence (EQ). HelpGuide. www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm
3 Fernández-Aráoz, C. (2014, October 22). Ignore emotional intelligence at your own risk. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/10/ignore-emotional-intelligence-at-you-own-risk
4 Srivastava, K. (2013). Emotional intelligence and organizational effectiveness. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 22(2), 97. doi.org/10.4103/0972-6748.132912
5 Harrington, E. M., Trevino, S. D., et al. (2020). Emotion regulation in early childhood: Implications for socioemotional and academic components of school readiness. Emotion, 20(1), 48–53. doi.org/10.1037/emo0000667
6 Spencer, S. J., Korosi, A., et al (2017). Food for thought: how nutrition impacts cognition and emotion. NPJ Science of Food, 1(1). doi.org/10.1038/s41538-017-0008-y
7 Nyaradi, A. (2013, March 26). The role of nutrition in children’s neurocognitive development, from pregnancy through childhood. Frontiers. www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00097/full
8 What Is in Milk? How Nutrition Influences the Developing Brain. (n.d.). Frontiers for Young Minds. kids.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frym.2017.00016