Smart kids can grow up to do some pretty amazing things, like creating Google and Facebook and snorting heaps of coke. Wait, what? It’s true. Earlier this month, British researchers announced a link between brainy children and an inability to say no to drugs later in life. Which got us thinking: what else happens to geeks when they get older? Turns out, a surprising mix of results that should both caution and guide you, assuming you are smart. And since you are reading this article, that’s a damn good assumption, of course.
1. Illicit Drug Use
When the 1970 British Cohort Study tracked drug use over the course of a lifetime while also looking at factors like intelligence and social class, they found that high IQ children were 50 percent more likely to abuse illegal drugs. The findings extended across a range of buzzes, too, from marijuana to cocaine to meth. Scientists speculate that smart kids get bored easily and turn to drugs as a means of dealing with it. But, um, isn’t that why everyone gets high?
2. Heavy Drinking
It’s not just messing around with some blow when they go off to college. Smart kids are more likely to grow up to be bona fide alcoholics too. Dr. G. David Batty and his cohorts at the University of Glasgow found that by the age of 30, smart girls are 38 percent more likely to have drinking problems, while smart boys have a 17 percent higher risk. When you’re smart you know all kinds of depressing stuff that totally harshes your mellow, apparently.
We’re not convinced this photo supports the research.
Smart kids may get into drugs and booze later in life, but they aren’t having them with a side of steak. Epidemiologists at the University of Southampton found that every 15 point increase in IQ led to a 38 percent increase in the likelihood of being vegetarian. That said, more than 33 percent of the people in the study described themselves as vegetarians but said they ate white meat and fish, and less than seven percent were strict vegetarians or vegans. Guess they do vegetarianism differently across the pond. Or smartness.