Tag Archives: brain

The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 4/7

Perri O. Blumberg writing for Shine reported on foods that make you dumb. I’ve known about this for some time. There has been plenty of reputable research on this topic for years–for decades.

In a recent animal study, UCLA researchers found that rats fed a solution of fructose had a harder time navigating a maze, a sign of slowed learning and memory loss, compared to a second group of rats who were given the fructose solution as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to have a brain-boosting effect. The researchers suspect that the fructose-only diet decreased brain activity because it affected insulin’s ability to help brain cells use sugar to process thoughts and emotions. Certain omega-3 fatty acids may buffer the brain from the harmful effects of fructose.

A diet high in “bad” saturated fat may hurt brain function, according to new Harvard research published in the Annals of Neurology. When researchers studied the eating habits and tested the brain function of 6,000 women for an average of four years, they found the women who ate the most saturated fat scored lower on tests of brain function and memory.

A recent British study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that chewing gum during a memorization exercise impaired participants’ short-term memories.

After teaching for thirty years, this is what I learned from about 6,000 students by working with them and through obeservation. In addition, I discovered (by asking questions of my students) that the average American child/teen does not eat breakfast, hates water, loves soda, loves French fries and cheese pizza, hates to read, hates to do homework, uses the excuse that the teacher was boring not to study or pay attention in class and then most of America blames the teachers when the child does not remember what he or she was taught.

In addition (and I’ve written about this in detail before on this Blog), studies also show that the average American child/teen spends about 10 hours a day dividing his or her time watching TV, listening to music, playing video games, spending time on social networking sites such as Facebook, sending endless text messages, etc. If this is true, when do those children and teens find time to read, do homework and study?

At the one high school where I worked, after the soda machines were installed, the students were drinking about 2,000 cases of soda a week. There were 24 Cokes to a case and about three thousand students. Do the math. How many Cokes did the average student drink a week at that high school while classes were in session? It cost $1 for one soda and the district was paid 50 cents for each sale.

If you do the math, it works out to three Cokes a day per student. One 12 oz can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar x 3 = 117 grams. However, one 20 oz bottle of Coca Cola, which is what they sold out of the vending machines at the high school where I was a teacher, has 65 grams of sugar or 195 grams for three bottles.

Meanwhile, the average American parent (about 40% of all parents representing an influencial block of voters) continues to inflate a false sense of self esteem in his or her children while pressuring teachers to find ways for the kids to have more fun, feel successful in class by inflating grades and dummying down the curriculum while doing away with boring rote learning, which is necessary for some subjects such as spelling, the rules of grammar and mechanics, math, science and the history of the United States in addition to how the US government works.

How does a child/teen know what the Constitution means when he or she cannot remember what it says?

Continued on June 8, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 4/9

A poor lifestyle and diet leads to health problems and health problems affect mental development, which may result in a child with a poor education and low literacy skills.

Studies show that breakfast is important, but when I asked my students during the thirty years I taught (1975-2005) how many ate breakfast each morning, only a few indicated they did. Most didn’t.

However, a study of over 59,000 children and teenagers in Europe consistently indicated that eating (a nutritious) breakfast was protective against becoming obese and reducing one body mass index (BMI).

Why is breakfast and good nutrition important? The adequacy of nutrition during the early formative (childhood) years may have long-term consequences on the brain. Because shrinkage of the brain actually begins in young adulthood, any insidious influence of diet could begin early and progress over a period of many decades. Clearly, diet is influential on brain growth and function throughout the entire lifespan. Source: Psychology Advice

In addition, in the last 2 decades, type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) has been reported among U.S. children and adolescents with increasing frequency.… Studies indicate one-third of U.S. children born in 2000 could develop diabetes during their lifetime.

Studies also link diabetes to a decline in mental function. For “relatively mild” type 2 diabetes, Diabetes patients…were slower on tasks requiring rapid and precise processing of new verbal information. Source: Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease

Other studies show that a loss of brain cells and memory function may result (from diabetes), especially in the hippocampus—a brain region involved in learning and memory.

Scientists are only beginning to understand how general cognitive deficits occur, but new studies are providing some clues. Source: Society for Neuroscience

Today, the average adult consumes about 150 pounds of sugar a year.

To discover health problems caused by too much sugar consumption, watch the embedded video. To learn more, discover the history of refined sugar.

Poor childhood health has life-long impacts, with devastating effects on a child’s education and future socioeconomic status. Childhood obesity is especially paralyzing. Research has shown that once a child has become obese, he or she struggles simply to pursue an education.

If the current childhood obesity trend in the United States continues, by 2050, at least half the population will be obese and could very possibly be less educated than the overall population today.

Nearly one-fifth of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 are obese (today), and recent estimates in schoolchildren indicate the obesity rate is as high as one-third in some rural areas. Source: Britannica Blog

To learn more see the Definition of Obesity

There are three highly successful, documented parenting methods in the US. In  Part 5, we will discover the advantages of being home taught instead of attending a public or private school, which proves that the more time a parent spends with his or her child, the better chance that child has for academic success.

Continued on May 8, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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