Does Food Affect Behavior?
From my personal and objective experiences for 36 years with myself (such as I stated above) and thousands of people since I was made aware of it, my resounding answer is YES. I was first introduced to it by my nutritional tutor in 1971-2. He gave me 2 books and a report to study. The books were titled, Sugar Blues, and Sugar And The Criminal Mind. The report was from a 10-years study conducted by a Canadian university in 1950's to ‘60's. Tests were conducted because schools began having substantial student problems in 1950's. It was suspected that consumption of high rates of processed foods ushered into the public with World War II-canned-food- rationing strategy.
All of the studies accrued and presented substantial proof that processed food and food-additives caused major mental and behavioral problems. They observed that children fed meals made from fresh and untreated foods had good dispositions and good grades. Those that ate processed foods with additives were moody, had difficulty concentrating and very often fair to poor grades. The Canadian report concluded that pesticides, herbicides and additives were the main cause of behavioral and aptitude problems. They found that certain man-made food- colors caused more behavioral problems than other additives. I could not find references to those tests however, do not fret, we have more recent examination of the food-behavioral link that was conducted in Wisconsin beginning in 1997.1 2 3 It was first reported in 2002 in Pure Facts by The Feingold Association to generate public awareness of the potential role of foods and additives in behavior, learning and health problems.
"Before the Appleton Wisconsin high school replaced their cafeteria's processed foods with wholesome, nutritious food, the school was described as out-of-control. There were weapons violations, student disruptions, and a cop on duty full-time. After the change in school meals, the students were calm, focused, and orderly. There were no more weapons violations, and no suicides, expulsions, dropouts, or drug violations. The new diet and improved behavior has lasted for seven years, and now other schools are changing their meal programs with similar results."4
Why hasn't every school in America adopted a better diet for our children? Mainly because cola and junk-food companies donate money to school boards and governing school committees to ensure that their vending machines and processed foods are in school cafeterias and grounds. The answer is very clear, if we expect better behavior from our children, we should make certain that they are not polluted with bad food, additives and other chemicals that will disrupt their functionality and behavior. To disregard such truth is travesty to children and society, and living in denial.
How is it that poor men's wives, who have no cold fowl and port wine on which to be coshered up, nurse their children without difficulty, whereas the wives of rich men, who eat and drink everything that is good, cannot do so, we will for the present leave to the doctors and mothers to settle between them.
~ Anthony Trollope; Barchester Towers; 1857.
1 Wellness and Nutrition Program Appleton Central Alternative School and Natural Ovens and Bakery of Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
2 Healthy eating: Is it a thing of the past?, Kristi Bohl, Burke County Tribune (N. Dakota), November 9, 2002.
3 Health Issues; A Miracle In Wisconsin, October 14, 2002
4 Institute for Responsible Technology, Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception