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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

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

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The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 2/3

I don’t recall this student’s name so I’ll call him “Wanna Be”, and he was convinced he was going to be a big league pitcher. He often disrupted the class by announcing that baseball scouts were already watching him and his future was guaranteed.

Wanna Be saw no reason to read the assignments, study for tests, or do homework and he failed both semesters.

In the mornings before first period, I’d often run into Wanna Be before he had his liquid-sugar breakfast and he was a friendly guy—nothing like the surely, moody monster that walked into my fifth period after lunch with a 64 ounce Coke in hand.

The sugar he consumed at lunch often resulted in glazed eyes, a slack jaw, slurred speech and a serious change in behavior.


Liquid Sugar is Toxic

The student snack bar, which was more of a fast food outlet that served mostly French fries, pizza slices, nachos smothered in cheese and hamburgers, sold 64 ounce Cokes for less than a dollar.

Near the end of my teaching career, the high school also had soda machines installed in the hallways to make money for the school district. The vender split the profits.

One morning, I ran into the truck driver stocking the machines and asked how many sodas the students drank.  I recall that he said he stocked an average of 2,000 cases a week in the machines at Nogales and a case held 24 Cokes—that’s 48,000 Cokes a week at one high school. The high school had about 3,000 students. You do the math.

To be fair, the machines also sold water but most of the students hooked on this liquid candy hated water and had no qualms saying how horrible water tasted.

Continued on April 28, 2011 in The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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