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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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What is the Matter with Parents these Days? – Part 3/4

Yes, my wife and me felt it was more important that our daughter be happier as an adult than during her childhood, which is why we left the TV off, no video games, no social networking (at least until her second year in high school), limited the number of school dances she attended, no mobile phone for personal use and focused on her reading books, doing homework, learning ballet, piano, how to change a flat tire, install a toilet, change a lock, install drywall, tile a floor, etc.

And last but not least, we never bought or drank any brand of soda. There was water and then there was water (sometimes there was fruit juice such as apple or orange juice).

Needless to say, many of our daughter’s peers in middle and high school felt sorry for her, because she wasn’t having as much fun as they were. However, our daughter graduated from high school with a 4.65 GPA and was accepted to Stanford University (the only student from her high school that year) where she is starting her third year majoring in biology with goals to pursue a medical degree.

Contrary to popular opinion, she’s happy and loves to dance and play the piano and enjoys reading books. She has a boyfriend at Stanford she loves too and the two share many similar interests. She might want to be happy every waking moment and have loads of fun but she learned as a child that there is a difference between work, happiness, entertainment, bring bored and depression.

To achieve a better chance at adult happiness, her mother and me had to say no to many things leading to boring hours doing homework and studying in addition to reading books to fill the empty hours.

After all, according to the law in California (it varies by state ranging from age 14 to 18), one is a child until his or her eighteenth birthday. Then the child becomes an adult with a life expectancy of at least 84.9 years (on average) if he or she has a college education and earns an above average income. You see, education and income has a significant impact on health and a higher life expectancy and the average college graduate earns much more than a high-school dropout or high-school graduate.

Science Daily reported, “New findings from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University demonstrate that individuals with more than 12 years of education have significantly longer life expectancy than those who never went beyond high school. … Overall in the groups studied, as of 2000, better educated at age 25 could expect to live to age 82; for less educated, 75.”

In addition, The Economic Policy Institute discovered “While life expectancy has grown across the United States between 1980 and 2000, the degree to which people live longer has become increasingly connected to their socio-economic status.” The average life expectancy of the least well-off in 2000 was 74.7 years while it was 79.2 years for those that were most well off—meaning they had more money and usually a better education.

However, if left up to most children in the average family that does not live in poverty, happiness means not exercising, eating lots of sugary foods swallowed with gallons of sugary sodas, watching TV, listening to music, social networking, playing video games, hanging out with friends after school and on weekends, sending daily text messages by the dozens—and according to surveys and studies that is what the average child in America is doing ten hours a day.

Where are the parents?

Then there is this thing about parents blindly encouraging kids to follow their dreams without a realistic backup plan.

Continued on July 26, 2012 in What is the Matter with Parents these Days? – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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

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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 2/4

If you read Dennis Prager’s often biased, one-sided essays or listen to his radio show, you will discover that Democrats are elite, leftist, liberal, progressive individuals that often get hysterical and emotional about their beliefs, and fear death more than conservatives do.

By the way, John Vasconcellos was born in 1932 and served in the California State Legislature representing Silicon Valley—and yes, he is an advocate of the self-esteem movement, but he is not responsible for starting the movement in 1986.

Vasconcellos served in the California State Assembly from 1966 to 1996 and as a state senator from 1996 to 2004 (when he retired).

In 1986, Vasconcellos created the California Task Force to Promote Self Esteem and in January 1990 issued “Toward a State of Esteem”, which sold 60,000 copies becoming a best seller in California State government publishing history and California was not alone in this political movement. Washington and Maryland had self-esteem legislation being considered too.


John Rosemond does not like the Self Esteem Movement – This video is highly recommended!

The California Task Force had 25 members and not all agreed with the final report. Task-force member David Shannahoff-Khalsa of Del Mar, a yoga teacher and researcher in neuroscience, denied that self-esteem could simply be given to anyone, and due to disagreements between the task force members, no generally accepted definition of self-esteem emerged.

Vasconcellos authored AB3659, which “According to this legislation, self-esteem was the key to problems such as violence, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, academic failure, recidivism, child and spousal abuse, and the failure of responsible citizenship. Making California “a state of esteem” would solve all that, and more.”  Source: Cal Watchdog.com

However, nothing ever came of the self-esteem legislation, so what was the real reason for all of this interest by Dennis Prager?

Continued on October 18, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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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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The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – Part 1/4

Now, I am no fan of the self-esteem parenting movement in America. If you read this Blog on a regular basis, you would know that I feel strongly that “IT” is the main culprit for the state of our public schools.

All one need do is read The Self-Esteem Train Wreck,  Recognizing Good Parenting,  Graffiti Nation,  Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap,  What, Me Worry about Debt – I’ve got Self-Esteem on my side, and The Finland-Singapore Solution to Public Education in the US to discover my opinion on this issue.

However, if you were standing at the base of a snow-covered mountain in a growing blizzard and a snowball was rolling downhill toward you collecting snow, growing in mass and speed and you cheered and waved it on encouraging it to grow stronger and move faster, would you be responsible for the forces that started that snowball rolling from the top of that mountain more than a hundred years earlier?

I don’t think so, but this is exactly what conservative talk-show host Dennis Prager has done with the self-esteem movement. He has blamed “IT” all on former California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos.

While I agree with Prager in principal that the self-esteem movement is a travesty to our American culture, I cannot condone Prager turning this cultural cancer into a political issue by blaming a so-called leftist, liberal, progressive Democrat for something that he did not start.

Without telling his adoring fans (Prager’s Parrots) the history of the movement, in November 2010, Dennis wrote, “The movement was begun (he is talking about the self-esteem movement) by California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos. As The New York Times reported, “Mr. Vasconcellos, a 53-year-old Democrat, is described by an aide as ‘the most radical humanist in the Legislature.'”

In an interview at the time (1986), Vasconcellos told Prager he had personally benefited from therapy. It enabled him to improve the poor self-esteem he had inherited from his childhood. He therefore concluded that improving other people’s self-esteem would greatly help society.

And this was all it took for Prager to claim the self-esteem movement in America started with John Vasconcellos, whose only crime was being a Democrat as you will discover.

Continued on October 17, 2011 in The Conservative Talk-Show Scapegoat for the Self-Esteem Movement – 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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 2/3

As discovered in Part 1, the diets of most American children are horrible and this has a BIG impact on a child’s ability to function as a student.

In addition, most children do not spend enough time outside to absorb adequate Vitamin D from sunlight—no eating required and it is FREE!

Although the development of young minds and bodies requires more than one nutrient, knowing what the lack of one nutrient, such as Vitamin D, does to a child’s cognitive ability and mood is a dramatic way to discover how important a balanced diet is from breakfast to dinner.

If the lack of one vitamin from sunlight has a dramatic impact on a child’s ability to learn, imagine what happens when most of the important nutrients for cognitive and mental function are missing.

If you are a parent and you are reading this, what does your child eat, and does he or she spend about a half hour a day between 10 AM and 3 PM outside in the sunlight soaking up vitamin D with the sun’s help?

The odds are that you don’t know the answer.

A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that many American children are not getting enough vitamin D from sun exposure alone…

In fact, Essentials of Health reported about a new study in the journal of Pediatrics in August 2009, that “Over 60 percent of the children studied had vitamin D levels defined as insufficient. Outright deficiency occurred in nine percent of the subjects. If applied to the U.S. population, these percentages would be equivalent to nearly 51 million children with insufficient vitamin D levels, and 7.6 million children with vitamin D deficiency.

Curious, I wanted to know if vitamin D deficiency affected mental function.

Continued on October 13, 2011 in The importance of Diet, Vitamin D and a Child Ready to Learn – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, click it and then follow directions.

 

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Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 3/3

What are the results when we compare the permissive self-esteem driven Western parenting style and that of the Chinese and/or Asia parenting style?

First, a look at the average differences between parents in the US and China/Asia.

“Unlike in the West where children are encouraged to experiment and develop their own individual talents (as the Self-esteem movement and the Montessori methods preach), Chinese parents believe the child is an extension of oneself. Chinese parents believe they know what is best for their children and therefore override the child’s preferences.… Westerners believe in allowing children a large measure of freedom to choose their own paths while the Chinese parent makes choices for her children.” Source: China Daily


Different Cultures lead to Different Results

In fact, Nicholas D. Kristof, writing for the New York Times, says, “Perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its (China’s) citizens have shown a passion for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call “chi ku,” or “eating bitterness”.

If you doubt these results, the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health reported that Chinese have the lowest ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use) rates in the United States.

Then the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2008 said that Asian-Americans had the lowest prevalence of serious mental illnesses by race, while Caucasians had a much higher risk, which was higher than Latinos, African-Americans, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

Return to Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2 or start with 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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in family values

 

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Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2/3

What is the risk of mental and/or physical damage by spending too much time on the Internet or from cell phone use?

According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 timesa day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day.

Seventy-five percent of teenagers now own cell phones (In 2010, there were 33.5 million teens in the US, which means more than 25 million may be at risk for brain cancer in the future.), and 25% use them for social media, 54% use them for texting, and 24% use them for instant messaging.

Thus, a large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones.

In fact, according to eMarketer, “Teens live, eat, sleep and breathe the internet. More than 95% are using the internet in 2011.”

We also know from parenting studies that self-esteem and/or permissive parenting is more prevalent among Caucasian parents in the US than Asian-American parents and comparing the suicide and mental illness rates among teens in these two groups reveals a shocking truth.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death of young persons aged 15-24 and according to Child Trends Databank, among males, suicide rates in 2003 were 13.3 per 100,000 for Caucasians but only 6.7 per 100,000 for Asian- Americans.

For females, the rate of suicide among Caucasians was 3.0 per 100,000 while the Asian-American female suicide rate was 2.5 per 100,000. Source: Teen Help.com

Continued on June 8, 2011 in Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – 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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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