Diet & Vitamins


"Parents: If you want well-behaved children, make sure they take their vitamins.  Researchers from California State University (CSU) in Stanislaus compared behavioral problems---like disorderly conduct, vandalism and refusal to work---in two randomly assigned groups of schoolchildren ages 6 to 12.  One group took a daily supplement providing the nutritional equivalent of a well-balance diet, while the other received a placebo.  The results, recently published in the International Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that after four months, the children taking placebos needed twice as much discipline as those taking supplements.


"In earlier research, lead investigator Stephen Schoenthaler, Ph.D., a CSU professor of sociology and criminal justice, discovered that low blood concentrations of key vitamins and minerals impaired the brain function of incarcerated teenagers, and correcting those concentrations improved both brain function and behavior.  The research is important, Schoenthaler says, because 'fighting adult crime starts with children.'


"While good nutrition appears to dampen delinquency, Schoenthaler recommends altering diet over taking supplements.  'A multivitamin supplement should be an insurance policy in case efforts to eat well fail from time to time'" (Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 20).


So, President G.W.  Bush and the Governor of Tennessee both say education is a top priority.  If they really believe what they say, then the obvious conclusion would be to ensure that every child is getting a good diet.  Without a good diet, students are more likely to develop problems in school and eventually raise the likelihood of becoming part of the criminal justice system.


The least intrusive and most effective way for every child to be fed well, would be for the parents in every family to have a good paying and secure job.


Everything is connected.  When you start looking at why people commit crimes, you have to think of diet.  When you think of diet you have to examine educational, employment, and other related policies.


(Note: before taking a test you should pig out on mashed potatoes!    Eating common carbohydrates, like mashed potatoes, may improve memory for up to an hour after ingestion.   Source: Psychology Today, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 12).