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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.

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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.

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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