I was born in 1950, and when I was going to school there was no such thing as ADD/ADHD. I never even heard the term “hyperactive.” The closest we came was to call someone squirrelly.
But now there are “official” reports that claim that 3%-5% of the U.S. population has ADD/ADHD, and up to 7,000,000 children (the numbers vary in the reports) have been diagnosed.
What is going on?
I find it almost impossible to believe that human brain chemistry has changed so radically in fifty years. Instead, our environment must have caused this change, and I see two direct links. The first one is the gargantuan profits that pharmaceutical companies are making from their ADD/ADHD drugs. And the second is the enormous change in the quality of our food. Since the Vioxx scandal has already taught us how ruthless the pharmaceuticals can be in pursuit of their profits, I’m going to talk about our food supply instead.
When I was growing up, the only food I knew of that had preservatives was bacon. But now when I go to the grocery store, I can’t find a mayonnaise without them. Most breads, including those baked by the store, have chemicals, and even the raw chicken has sodium phosphates.
There were also few fast-food restaurants when I was a child, while now many children eat several meals a week in them. I remember the time I checked out the ingredients in a plain hamburger, and I found that the bun had more chemicals in it than food! And regular restaurants aren’t much better, since they buy their food from the same manufacturers who make the food in our grocery stores.
In 1974, Dr. Benjamin Feingold, an allergist and pediatrician, published Why Your Child is Hyperactive and discussed the connection between chemicals in food and hyperactivity (now called ADD/ADHD). And since this research has been available for over thirty years, we have to wonder why food manufacturers are continuing to pour chemicals into our food.
The answer, of course, is money. They think preservatives will increase their profits. And they’re not the only beneficiaries. The drug companies are selling billions of dollars of drugs a year. Doctors make money from seeing children and prescribing medications, labs make money from blood tests, therapists make money from individual and family counseling, and some schools make money from having more “disabled” students.
So if your child has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and is either taking drugs or being pressured to start, I urge you to do your own research.
There could be another way.