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Are we a Nation Eating and Drinking its Way to Idiocy – Part 1/2

Did you know that eating white bread is similar to drinking a soda, or eating a sugar rich candy bar or consuming a piece of pie or cake? White bread, along with potatoes, corn, carrots, white flour, cane sugar, and white rice, is a STARCH, which effectively converts into (more) sugar upon digestion.

And too much sugar damages the brain while not enough sleep slows brain development. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Sleep is food for the brain. During sleep, important body functions and brain activity occur. Skipping sleep can be harmful — even deadly … Not getting enough sleep limits your ability to learn, concentrate and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework …” (There’s more.  I suggest you click on the link to find out.)

It isn’t as if I did not know all this. Like Sherlock Holmes, I deduced what was causing “accelerated cognitive decline” in my students long before The New Junk Food Danger—Dementia? was published September 13, 2012.

In fact, long ago, I was convinced that “Americans are literally eating a ‘diabetes diet’ that’s very toxic to the brain and other vital organs,” says Dr. Joel Zonszein, medical director of the diabetes clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. “And the one of the most terrible complications—brain damage—is occurring in younger and younger patients.”

I left the classroom as a teacher in August 2005 (after thirty years in education).  For about 20 of those years, I asked my students what they ate and learned that most kids do not eat breakfast and often drank a Coke or Pepsi before reaching class in addition to a bag of greasy French fries or a slice of cheese pizza before eating anything healthy if they ate anything healthy at all.

In a class with thirty-four students (on average), maybe two or three ate breakfast, but they were not eating a healthy breakfast.  The cereal was usually coated in sugar and drenched in milk and milk that is not organic is high in the wrong kind of fats that studies show turn the brain rancid (literally rots the brain).

The high school where I taught installed soda machines a few years before I left. One early morning I ran into the soda distributor and asked him how many cases he delivered to the school each week.  His answer was two-thousand cases—enough so each student could drink three a day, and the campus snack bar sold 64 ounce servings of Coke for about one dollar. After lunch, too many students walked in my classroom with glassy eyes and dull looks.

Feeding children and teens processed sugar is child abuse and should be a crime.

Continued on September 15, 2012 in A Nation Eating and Drinking its Way to Idiocy – Part 2

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

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The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 1/3

When I was still teaching (1975-2005), I often started the school year by asking my students about breakfast and discovered that most didn’t eat it. When I asked what they did eat, the average answer was a bag of French fries or a slice of cheese pizza (and maybe both), and a 60-ounce Coke or Pepsi, which was usually for lunch.

And let me tell you, fifth period was my first class after lunch and that was the class with the most behavior problems. First period and sixth were usually the classes with the least behavior problems since too many students do not eat breakfast and by sixth period the sugar crash has arrived and energy levels among many students is unusually low.

It’s like teaching a room full of zombies.

In fact, USDA.gov reports that 88% of children ages 7 to 9 are not eating a good diet and most diets do not improve as children age. In a classroom of 36 students, that means about 32 arrive in class without the adequate nutrition to feed the brain where learning takes place.

The news gets worse when the diet includes too much sugar, which also comes from consuming too much grain products since these complex carbohydrates also break down in the liver to form sugar.

Brain Health and Puzzles.com says, “Another connection between sugar and brain function concerns dysfunction. These people often have dwindling mental capabilities. They are more at risk to develop depression and different cognitive problems with memory, processing information and recognizing spatial patterns. It can even lead to dementia.”

In addition, Grist.org reported that most Americans eat 30% more grain (which converts to sugar)  than they should and 20% too much meat, while eating just 80% of the recommended daily servings of vegetables (French fried potatoes or chips usually represent all vegetable consumption) and 40% of fruit–mostly apples and bananas. Did you know that the apples you buy from the store could be more than a year old?

Continued on October 12, 2011 in The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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