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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 Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 3/7

To show how the average American (including children and teens) are getting dumber, let’s look at today’s average American diet.

USDA.gov reported that in 1950-59, the average consumption of fats and oils was 44.6 pounds per capita.  In 2000, it was 75.6 pounds. That was almost a 70% increase in bad fat and oil consumption.

However, total fruit consumption only improved 12% while total vegetable consumption improved 26%. Meanwhile 75% of Americans are now fat and a third obese.

The USDA also reported that consumers eat too much refined grain; too little whole grain. Per capita use of refined flour and cereal products increased by 75%. According to the survey only 7% of Americans ate the recommended three or more servings of whole-grain foods a day.

In addition, America’s sweet tooth increased 39% between 1950-59 – 2000 as the use of corn sweeteners octupled (eight times). In 1950, high fructose corn syrup consumption (the most unhealthy sweetner  choice) was zero.  By 2000, high fructose corn syrup consumption was 63.8 pounds per capita (mostly in sodas such as Coke).

The USDA says Americans have become conspicuous consumers of sugar and sweet-tasting foods and beverages. As for the U.S. Beef and Cattle Industry, in 2011 it was worth 79 billion dollars. The US beef, milk and dairy producers are the largest in the world. There are about one million people that work in this industry. In addition, around 3.5 million work in the fast food industry and Americans spend more than $110 billion for fast food, while the impact of the sugar industry on the US economy adds up to over 142,000 jobs and nearly $20 billion in economic activity in the US alone.

Next, how does a bad diet impact the average child’s ability to learn?

Continued on June 7, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

 

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