You might think that with obesity so prevalent in America, few people are starving. But there’s an invisible kind of starvation that is affecting millions of people in the worst way — brain function. Many people are being stuffed with empty calories that are loaded with sugar, salt and bad fats, and while bodies balloon, brains are actually starving. The end result: depression, anxiety, and even an increase in aggression.
A new article in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, makes a startling case between vitamin deficiencies and increasing violent behavior in teens. Specifically, the researchers say that vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12, folate and minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and chromium, all play a role in an increase in aggression and violent behavior.
Of course, nutrition is but one piece in a complex puzzle of teen violent behavior. Other research has pointed to violent video games, absentee fathers, reduction in physical education programs and increasing housebound children, but Sylvia Onusic, Ph.D,, the study’s lead researcher says malnutrition is an overlooked component.
Households can take many shapes. Single parents, same-sex parents, blended families and multi-generational parents, to name a few. And research is revealing just which kinds of parents produce healthy kids. The results might surprise you.
Surprise, surprise. One of the major factors for a child’s overall well being, as it turns out, is the marital status of their parents. Research has found that children brought up by single parents or in blended families do not perform as well, academically, as their peers with married parents. Matthew DeBell, of Stanford University, published a piece in Social Indicators Research about children living without their fathers. DeBell found that if all socioeconomic factors were controlled the absence of a father would only give children a small deficiency. For most situations, the absence of a father creates a socioeconomic difference in the family life leading to worse health, academic achievements, educational experiences and less parental involvement in the child’s life. When there is an absent parent, or separated parents, many try to fill the void by bringing in a step-parent or co-parent. This may be more detrimental to the family environment than helpful.
The Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4)
found that children in blended families are more likely to suffer maltreatment and sexual abuse than children living with a single parent or married parents. Although single parenting may be a difficult task, in many cases it is better for the child, or children, present.
Another aspect of research that demonstrates the stable home environment marriage provides for children appears with same-sex marriages. Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, of Stanford University, conducted a study to examine the educational achievements of children from same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. “The census data show that having parents who are the same gender is not in itself any disadvantage to children,” he said. “Parents’ income and education are the biggest indicators of a child’s success.” Rosenfeld specifically looked at the rates child of same-sex and heterosexual couples had to repeat a grade in school. He found there was little to no difference in children when it came to this educational achievement. The stable, nurturing environment that is healthy for childhood development is still present with married same-sex couples.
It’s not a perfect world, not every relationship or marriage will work out successfully. However, it is important to keep the well being of children involved in mind when it comes to making decisions about family structure.
New parenthood is stressful for both Moms and Dads. Life with a newborn consists of round-the-clock feedings and care, and is a lot like being in a Las Vegas casino. You lose awareness of night and day, your emotions vacillate between excitement and worry, and you can’t find the exit.
Now a new study shows that people who feel pressure to be perfect parents may actually undermine their own intentionsby adding a level of stress that can hurt their kids. And fathers in particular, if they are susceptible to a certain kind of pressure, do worse than mothers.
Continue reading FOR PARENTS: Perfect Dads May Not Make Perfect Parents