Archive | August 8, 2012

Diet and the Sacrifice of Child Potential!

Diet and the Sacrifice of Child Potential!


By Hwaa Irfan

It seems a little over stated to say the least when author of a recent study, Dr Lisa Smithers affirmed:

“Diet supplies the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues in the first two years of life, says study author says.”

Somehow this has become common knowledge alon the way, but one tht is extremely sidelined by thee modern food and agro-pharmaceutical industries that has been gradually reducing the public access to whole foods, and increasing public consumption of synthetic – processed – GMO foods.

A team led by Smithers at the University of Adelaide Public Health, recently investigated the connection between the eating habits of 6 months, 15 months, and 2-year olds, and their IQ, (an ify subject), and they found a connection.

Looking  7000 children, their diets (traditional, contemporary home prepared, ready prepared, breastfeeding, and junk foods). Smithers commented in the European Journal of Epidemiology:

“We found that children who were breastfed at six months and had a healthy diet regularly including foods such as legumes, cheese, fruit and vegetables at 15 and 24 months, had an IQ up to two points higher by age eight.

“Those children who had a diet regularly involving biscuits, chocolate, lollies, soft drinks and chips in the first two years of life had IQs up to two points lower by age eight.

“We also found some negative impact on IQ from ready-prepared baby foods given at six months, but some positive associations when given at 24 months,”

“While the differences in IQ are not huge, this study provides some of the strongest evidence to date that dietary patterns from six to 24 months have a small but significant effect on IQ at eight years of age.”

One only has to look at areas in the U.S. where there is no real food – food deserts – where 6.5. million children (23 million total) only have access to processed foods with no nutritional value to see the result.

  • Poor school performance
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Type II diabetes and diet related illnesses
  • Behavioral problems
  • Poor concentration

This kind of diet only serves to lock these children into a vicious cycle of underacheivers from school, to higher education (if at all), and unemployment. In other words they become the entrenched underclass, the type that will later be labeled as lazy, and a burden on society! It will take the unsilenced human spirit of their parents (usuallly the mother) to find ways to give them more. Sometimes that more is the very thing that the Canadian government for example is depriving their citizens of, the right to using their front lawns to grow real food in Quebec from this autumn.

Anti-Austerity Measures

As such what are the implications as many Western communities experience anti-austerity measures that have literally pulled the rug right from under their feet! Already a Cornell study this April found teenage behavioral problems  are connected to chronic stress in early childhood that arises from poverty. Smaller in participants, 265 youngsters and their families were investigated who were experiencing

  • Poor living conditions
  • Separation from family
  • Single parenting and violence that negatively affected children’s self-regulatory abilities
  • Critical skills needed to plan and control attention and behavior toward one’s goals when mothers could not provide sensitive, nurturing care

The antidote in this study is to improve parenting skills, which involves a lot more than the researchers imply, especially if the parents have been raised under the same/similar set of circumstances.  The one of the authors of this longitufinal study, Gary W. Evans commented:

“One of the things that chronic stress seems to do in children is damage the body’s ability to regulate the physiological response system for handling environmental demands with consequences for physical and mental health,”

“By teasing apart two major subtypes of psychological well-being, internalizing and externalizing, we have shown that their predictors operate differentially.”

Considering that we have a cellular response that continually adjusts itself to the external environment, the kind of program that would help unlock what is a societal condition, and not a condition of the child, that would be accepted would be costly, and potentially dangerous to the individual. The external and internalized ‘operatus’ may differ, but the human being as a whole, is a whole life force, not a component, and whatever is internalized determines the externalized. When they oppose, or are forced to function different, we have a split taking place, and sooner to later that imbalance has to be addressed.

This study was funded by T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program that have particular obejectives in mind, which means the one could take the data and go through it, and come up with a different result. T. MacArthur Foundation Network focuses on “ juvenile crime and delinquency ; to disseminate that knowledge to professionals and the public; to improve decision making in the current system” – in order words to help them fit into a system, which happens to be failing anyway! They are also very much interest in human and community development, for what end game! For the development of potential, which in turn develops the society, or for the entrainment of that potential to facilitate a preferred status quo. The frightening thing is that such studies as these are used to make policy as was the case with their “Juvenile Justice Trends in State Legislation, 2011-2011,” report which assisted with National Conference of State Legislatures, which states:

“The research has contributed to recent legislative trends to distin­guish juvenile from adult offenders, restore the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, and adopt sci­entific screening and assessment tools to structure decision-making and identify needs of juvenile of­fenders. Competency statutes and policies have be­come more research-based, and youth interventions are evidence-based across a range of programs and services. Other legislative actions have increased due process protections for juveniles, reformed de­tention and addressed racial disparities in juvenile justice systems.”

It is all about how to better manage the system, rather than looking at what created the need for such a system in the first place therefore maintaining the status quo. All in all, the young are being sacrificed to the system, aided and abetted by the magic pill syndrome of modern medicine as indicated by another recent study published in the Aug. 6 online edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry and the way in which the use of antipsychotic drugs has rocketed amongst the young. Using the data of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys from 1993 – 2009,  484,000 people were researched.

Alarm Bell: “Only a small proportion of antipsychotic treatment of children (6 percent) and adolescents (13 percent) is for FDA-approved clinical indications,” said lead researcher Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City

Alarm Bell: Many of the prescriptions for children were ordered by doctors who are not psychiatrists, the researchers found.

Alarm Bell: most children and adolescents treated with antipsychotics are not receiving psychotherapy.

Alarm Bell: these drugs damage developing brains.

“We have a national catastrophe,” commented Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist from Ithaca, N.Y.

“This is a situation where we have ruined the brains of millions of children.”

Alarm Bell: a substantial majority of the child antipsychotic visits were for young people diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders, for which there are currently no FDA-approved antipsychotic medications,” commented Simon Rego, director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Cannot recall who said, but that might be the measure of one’s IQ, but this is a clear reflection of a failing civilization. To say anything else is to just put one’s self into a state of denial, for instead of maintaining it, we should be working at what works with the whole child, which will lead, to more wholesom families, more wholesome societies, and eventually more wholesome leaders!


Booker, K. “Teen Behavior Problems Linked to Childhood Stress.”

“Children’s Healthy Diets Lead to Healthier IQ: Study.”

Reinberg, S. “More Kids Taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study.”

“Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation 2001-2011”

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Humanity as a Goal

Taking Care of Your Family Home

Schooling Your Child in Violence

Society’s Obligation to Mothers

Home Schooling as the Last Option

Egypt’s Creative Talent Vanishing Within Education

Attention Deficit or Information Overload in Our Children?

Mindfulness and Adolescence

A House or a Home

Reliving the Art of Communication

Pay It Forward!

Anti-Austerity and Living on the Edge

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

Eight Things to Learn

Is Your Child Hooked on Caffeine?

Where Did Compassion Go?

The Power of Love: Four Women

Giving Birth to Unconditional Love

Life Beyond Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

How Western Diets Make the World Sick

The Death of U.S. Education as We Know It?

Youth Inventor Wins Environmental Award

A Teacher’s Protest

Clean Water a Luxury in E. Californian Schools

Hardly Any Fruit in Your Kids Juice!

Kids Who Get Out of Class Do Better in Class

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The Gift (Sunnah) of a Smile

Are Schools Preparing Black Boys… for Prison?

Even Babies Know What is Fair!

The Food Deserts of America

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How to Improve the Family Diet Without a Garden!

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U.K: To Become a Genderless, Parentless Society

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A School for the Whole Child*

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting

No Increase in Preterm Delivery With Ramadhan Fasting*

Pregnant women who fast during the month of Ramadhan do not have an increased risk of preterm delivery, regardless of when during gestation the fasting occurs, according to research published online July 25 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (HealthDay) –

Pregnant women who fast during the month of Ramadhan do not have an increased risk of preterm delivery, regardless of when during gestation the fasting occurs, according to research published online July 25 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Johnny Awwad, M.D., of the American University of Beirut Medical Centre, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 402 women (201 in the fasting group and 201 in the control group) who received prenatal care between 20 and 34 weeks of gestation during the month of Ramadhan  in 2008. The authors sought to determine what effect fasting had on the rate of preterm delivery. No difference in the rate of preterm delivery was observed for Ramadhan -fasted women compared with women in the control group. Also, no difference in the rate of preterm delivery was observed between those who fasted before or during the third trimester. However, the researchers found that the mean birth weight of infants from fasting mothers was lower (3,094 versus 3,202 g; P = 0.024).

Additionally, Ramadhan -fasted women had higher rates of ketosis and ketonuria. “In conclusion, the findings of the present study showed that Ramadhan fasting during the month of September did not increase maternal risk for preterm delivery in healthy singleton pregnancies >20 weeks of gestation, despite a smaller gain in maternal weight, increased incidence of ketosis and ketonuria, and significant reduction in birth weight,” the authors write.


Related Topics:

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Giving Birth Naturally

There’s Nothing Superior to Mother’s Milk

Investigation into Mystery Behind Premature Births

Gender Equity in Islam

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…