Posts Tagged ‘children’

Children With ADHD Use Movement to Focus, Of Course

March 12, 2009

A study recently outlined by describes how ADHD children need to move around more than their non-ADHD peers to help themselves complete challenging tasks like manipulating numbers. The article advises teachers not to severely limit this activity.

Is this really such a surprise and actually a problem?

Just 6 days previous to announcing this study, ScienceDaily discussed a study that showed that doodling while listening to a tape allowed members of the research panel of the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge to remember information more clearly.

Looks like it’s actually beneficial for everyone to have something going on on the side to help with concentration. The folks studying the kids found this was true for all of the young students as well: both ADHD kids and non-ADHD kids were still and calm when they were painting on a computer program while watching Star Wars.

A few schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota seem to get it. The New York Times has a piece about schools that have switched over to using desks that allow children to sit or stand. Most of them stand most of the time. And fidget as much as they want to.

“At a stand-up desk,” Ms. Seekel said, “I’ve never seen students with their heads down, ever. It helps with being awake, if they can stand, it seems. And for me as a teacher, I can stand at their level to help them. I’m not bent over. I can’t think of one reason why a classroom teacher wouldn’t want these.”

Researchers are currently studying these children to see if it does significantly change their performance and even how much it might accelerate their calorie-burning.

Whatever the long term benefits may be, Sarah Langer, 12, sees the advantage of a stand up desk pretty simply:

“At least you can wiggle when you want to.”


Soda is in Trouble Again

July 26, 2007

Soda is having problems staying out of trouble, and so are the kids who drink it.

The American Journal of Public Health surveyed thousands of teenagers “about their eating and soda-drinking habits, as well as hyperactivity and conduct problems in school, and mental health indicators such as anxiousness, dizziness, hopelessness, panic, sadness, sleeplessness, tension, unhappiness with themselves and a sense that everything is a burden.”

And, yup, of course, the more soda the kid drinks, the more likely he/she is to have these problems.

The exact cause is not determined in this study, only the correlation between soda consumption and mental health problems, but we can can make a few guesses why they have a negative effect on behavior:

Colors and Preservatives: already linked to behavior problems in kids

Phosphoric Acid: as damaging to your teeth as battery acid

Sugar: high sugar intake is linked to pancreatic cancer

Nutritionist Mike Adams said, “It is very clear that diet strongly impacts mood, mental function and behavior. Drinking liquid sugars or artificial chemical sweeteners is much like poison to the human body, and it causes an imbalance in the functioning of the body and mind.” He is the author of The Five Soft Drink Monsters, a guide to kick the soda habit.

Childhood Asthma Linked to Antibiotics

June 25, 2007

A study published in CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), “reports that children receiving antibiotics in the first year of life were at greater risk for developing asthma by age 7 than those not receiving antibiotics.” The investigators followed over 13,000 kids from birth to age 7, monitoring their health.

These folks were very smart too; they distinguished between children receiving antibiotics for respiratory and NON-RESPIRATORY ailments, and took note of other factors “including gender, urban or rural location, neighborhood income, number of siblings at age 7, maternal history of asthma, and pets reported living in the home.” So the results are extremely valid.

Science Daily has a great in-depth explanation of the results. Some highlights:

…absence of a dog during the birth-year doubled asthma risk among children taking multiple courses of antibiotics.

…children receiving more than four courses of antibiotics [had] 1.5 times the risk of asthma compared with children not receiving antibiotics.

…asthma at age 7 was almost twice as likely in children receiving an antibiotic for nonrespiratory tract infections compared with children who did not receive antibiotics.

Some antibiotic alternatives:

Colloidal Silver

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE)



Food Additives Linked to Behavior Problems in Children

May 11, 2007

A study conducted by the UK’s government Food Standards Agency (FSA) found a definite link between food additives and behavior problems in children, such as temper tantrums and poor concentration. Food colorings and one preservative were tested on 3 year olds and 9 year olds. The culprits are tartrazine (E102), ponceau 4R (E124), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), quinoline yellow (E104), allura red AC (E129), and the preservative sodium benzoate (E211).

Several individuals and organizations have been been campaining against artificial additives in children’s foods, including the founder of Organix, Lizzie Vann, quoted in the UK Daily Mail:

“The use of artificial additives in children’s foods means we are conducting a long-term experiment on our children’s health,” she said.

“If the Government is serious about improving children’s nutrition the ban on artificial food additives must be a priority.”

She has aptly suggested that even though our current research is based on short term study, if the additives are not banned, there will be long term evidence from the general population.

An adviser to the FSA, Vyvyan Howard, a professor of bio-imaging at Ulster University and a father, also thinks these additives should be banned:

“It is the right thing to do to remove these additives from children’s foods. They have no nutritional value, so why put them in?

“There are very tight restrictions banning these additives from foods designed for children under the age of one.

“But why stop there? Children’s brains and nervous systems are developing beyond the age of one.”

In fact, contrary to what you may have learned, adults do develop new brain cells in a process called neurogenesis; So developing children over the age of one can safely include adults.

Fortunately, some companies have changed without force, including the makers of Smarties who dropped all food coloring even resulting in the absence of the blue variety in their famous rolls.