News: General Press
Changes in Diet Bring Better Behavior and Healthier and More Attentive Students
Source: www.examiner.com / Date: APRIL 30, 2009 / Category: General Press
Before Wisconsin’s Appleton Wisconsin High School replaced the prepared food in its cafeteria with a more nutritious and complete menu, the students were out of control. There were continuous violations of the rules and the school had to hire a full-time security guard. After the change in food, the students were calmer, orderly and focused. The use of arms decreased, as well as suicides, school dropouts and drug use. The new diet influenced an overall improvement that has lasted 7 years, and now, other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results. Years ago, a financial aid granted to one of the science classes of Appleton High School to develop a diet after a cruel and unusual experiment with three mice. These were fed with "junk food" which was given to the children in some high schools. The mice changed radically in behavior, and this was completely different from that of mice from the box next to them who were fed a balanced diet and behaved like normal mice: slept during the day and spent a good bit of time playing with others at night. Unlike these, those mice who ate "junk food" destroyed part of their box, were not "nocturnal", stopped playing with each other, fought between them and two of them came to kill and eat the third. After three months of experimentation, the students rehabilitated the two survivors and provided them a balanced diet. Three weeks later, the mice normalized their behavior. In the experiment, part of the "junk food" had been genetically modified. Does this mean that genetically modified food alters the behavior of humans or animals? It would be irresponsible to conclude this based on a single experiment with mice or the results of a single high school. However, it would be equally irresponsible to say that it does not alter them.
We are starting to understand the influence of diet on behavior. A study published in the journal Science (one of the most prestigious journals in science, if not the most) of December 2002 concluded that "food molecules act like hormones, regulating body functioning and promoting cell division. The molecules can cause mental imbalances ranging from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to more serious mental illnesses. “The problem is that there is no way of knowing which molecules provoke this or that effect. The biggest problem is that genetically modified foods can change their composition radically without our knowledge. But even if we could identify these changes, we would not even know which are responsible for antisocial behavior in animals and people. We do not know all the changes that occur with genetic engineering, but it is possible that they would have some impact on children, as they are 3-4 times more vulnerable to allergies and transform most of the food material into the construction of the body. It is therefore possible that the altered nutrients or toxic additives could lead to developmental problems.
Unfortunately, without knowing many of us and our children are being fed on "junk food", as if we form part of an enormous experiment carried out on a worldwide scale. Fortunately, many schools, especially in Europe, have decided not to let their children be used as guinea pigs and have banned "junk food" in their lunchrooms.