It’s one of the most talked about health issues of our time. Does giving little Johnny a bowl of sugar blast off (most breakfast cereals) covered with coagulated moo juice (milk) cause him to act differently than a breakfast of fresh organic fruits or real whole oatmeal per say?
The answer is, unless you’ve been isolated from reality for a while you don’t need a PHD to figure this one out. Yes, it does affect his mental and behavioral health as well as it does little Janes.
The only way you could attempt to deny it is if you happen to be one of these people who somehow think that we as a society have all of a sudden started breeding Ritalin(tm) and Adderall ™ deficient children.
Before you think that, it can’t really be that bad here in the USA, and that surely other countries prescribe even more than we do, here’s a dose of the facts.
As of the time of writing this, the US consumes over 85% of the worlds Ritalin(tm) with over 5.9 million children having been diagnosed with ADHD and then subsequently prescribed the drug.
Then, according to Wikipedia: “In 2018, Adderall was the 24th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 25 million prescriptions.”
It literally went from invention to more than 25 million prescriptions in less than 5 years!!!
It’s not the same with Ritalin(tm), it went from invention in 1944 when it was used to treat chronic fatigue and mild depression to changing roles and becoming a psychotherapy drug in the early 2,000’s.
The question that really must be asked is, how did we go from not needing drugs like this, to being the number one prescribing nation on the planet in just a few years’ time?
We didn’t have them before, and we were getting along just fine, so what changed?
To discover that, we’re going to have to go down a road that may get just a bit uncomfortable, but at the end you’ll know the truth of it and what the solution is for you and the ones you love.
What Happened To The American Family Unit And Why?
In the 1950’s the family unit was strong, nearly everyone had a mother and father at home and usually a couple of siblings to boot.
Families got together for most holidays, the grandparents lived with you or you with them. If not, they generally didn’t live too far away.
The benefits of this structure that had endured since humans were first brought into this world are many fold, here are just a few:
Benefits Of The Family Unit On Mental And Behavioral Health
Accountability: If you’re old enough you remember. You’d do something wrong at school or with friends and when you got home you were sweating bullets waiting for your dad to get home.
Now, these kids have no fear OR respect for their parents. They know that if mom or dad so much as takes their precious cell phone away from them, they can call child protective services and have some form of intervention.
When we were kids and dad got home, depending on what you did you could be looking at anything from being grounded to not being able to sit down for a day or two after he got done with the belt.
Now, we understand, most people are conditioned to be so afraid of society, the system and their own children that they abhor corporal punishment. But let us tell you that there are some cases where that’s the only way you’re going to get through to a stubborn boy. You have to get his attention, or he won’t care what you have to say.
You can disagree all you want, but there are multiple reasons why kids today are in so much trouble, talk back to their parents, do so many drugs and commit suicide at such high rates.
Sure, we had those problems way back when too, but they were not nearly as prevalent as they are today.
Either way, a strong family unit keeps everyone more accountable, especially the kids.
Nutrition: This is quite likely the biggest issue of all.
Study after study, after study conclusively show that what you eat influences nearly every aspect of your life, not the least of which are your mental and behavioral health.
If you question this even in the slightest, just wake up and eat 1 cup of table sugar with nothing else but pure water (we are NOT actually suggesting that you do that, it’s only to make a point).
Within the next 4 hours you would experience all sorts of mental and emotional challenges. More than likely you’ll first get hyped up and won’t be able to hold a thought because your mind is going a million miles per hour.
Next you will likely go into pretty deep brain fog where you just can’t think at all. Then more often than not you’ll crash and literally pass out. Of course, as we mentioned don’t do this, don’t even think about it. It’s just so that you can see that what you eat does in fact influence your mental state and your behavior.
There is no question that this is true otherwise you could not ingest alcohol and get drunk, take a pill and get high or eat Thanksgiving dinner and feel sleepy from the Tryptophane in the Turkey meat.
What you eat absolutely causes the realization of mental attitudes. It’s irrefutable. Plus, there are so many studies that show it’s true that whoever wanted to argue this point would be busy reading for about a year straight.
So, what does this have to do with the family unit?
How Does The Family Unit Impact The Members Nutritionally?
One of the ways this works is that; through no fault of their own, parents are super busy these days.
It takes two working parents to pay the bills. So, little Johnny and Jane often times get left to their own devices. They eat whatever the heck they want.
Back not too long-ago people sat down to dinner and ate as a family. The food was home cooked, fresh, generally whole foods with much less processed junk, you had to eat your vegetables and you generally got a pretty well-balanced meal.
You’d get up in the morning and come down for breakfast. Oatmeal, eggs, toast, sausage, orange juice etc.
Then your mom would make your lunch for school, sure you’d trade your carrot and celery sticks for just about anything, but for the most part you ate the majority of your lunch, and it was good.
Then you’d come home and more often than not have a snack of some sort of fruit or some homemade something or other.
Now kids get up, pour super sugar cereal into a bowl, cover it with baby cow juice (milk, not designed for human consumption) and eat it with their phones already in their faces.
If the parents are home, they’re lucky if they can get a few grunts from their kids, let alone a good morning, how are you?
They eat a school lunch that some company who was the lowest bidder said they could make for .45cent per serving or something similar.
They come home and grab a soda and cookies or chips.
Then eat lord knows what for dinner. Generally, whatever they can find in the fridge or freezer. If there are sweets or other junk, you don’t have to guess what gets eaten first.
The difference between these two scenarios is night and day. Mom and dad are so busy they simply don’t have time to cook a wholesome dinner every day and breakfast each morning, instead they are grabbing a latte and a doughnut on the way to the office or wherever they work.
Here again you can see the lack of accountability. The parents are not holding their children accountable and so they do whatever they want.
When you let your children raise themselves you don’t really have any right to berate the finished product.
Then you get the call from the teacher, little Johnny or Jane are acting up in school again. So, you sigh… and make the appointment to see the counselor.
They with absolutely no medical training whatsoever recommend that you see their patsy doctor and have your child or all of them put on one or more psychiatric drugs.
Then the downward spiral really begins.
Being Overweight Or Obese Impacts Your Mental And Behavioral Health
This one ties in perfectly with the first two points above.
It’s not possible for you to tell us that being overweight or obese does not impact your self-image.
We all know it does. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about your children so that you don’t get upset knowing that this conversation is making you look in the mirror or if we tell you that all of the above things we have just discussed apply equally to you as well.
If you’re uncomfortable with your weight, then this drags on you mentally every single day.
This breaking down of the family unit is one of the things at the core of the problem today with mental and behavioral health, it’s not the only thing, but it’s a big one.
When you sit down with your family and have wholesome home cooked meals you naturally don’t eat as much because you don’t want them to see. So, they too are holding you accountable.
How Do Cell Phones Damage The Family And Mental Health?
Have you ever seen a group of friends or family sitting around and no one is talking to each other?
They are sitting right next to each other texting each other memes, emoji’s or what have you. However, what they are not doing is interacting.
Families and friends are supposed to interact. It’s in the little, tiny interactions where you’re eating breakfast as a family and you ask how your brother or sister is doing and get a smile and conversation in return, or the same with your parents or your children.
It’s these little things, these little interactions that build the core of our relationships and trust.
We have to have them; we need them, and we want them.
When we don’t get them, we suffer. We humans are social creatures. Some of our best memories in life are from these little things that others may not even notice.
They tell us we are a part of something, that people care for us, love us and we love them. It’s who we are.
When we deny ourselves these things on a daily basis, we suffer because of it.
These devices affect our diets because we are constantly bombarded with offers, ads Instagram photos of other people’s lunch, their bikini pics that were photo shopped, which all tells us who we need to be to be popular in our world.
They replace interactions, distract us, replace our much needed quite time, ruin our diets and cause us to not be able to focus long term because they serve all the information bite sized.
When we sit with our family or friends, we need that accountability with the leader of our group ensuring that all devices are off and that we simply talk, share and enjoy one and other.
We base so much of who we are on whether our last post got more likes than the post before it or our friends post that he or she just shared.
People keep their phones by their beds and check notifications and like counts before they even say hi to anyone.
This messes with their digestion because they don’t feel good if they didn’t get enough recognition while they slept.
They are then grouchy with their family and this only helps everyone else to stare at there phones too so they can avoid your grumpy butt.
Then you don’t even eat the junk you poured into a bowl for breakfast and your attitude stinks, and you wonder why you get bad grades or talked behind your back at the office and your mental health just keeps getting worse and worse.
The cores of life are; good food, good friends and family.
When you or your family’s nutrition is off, you see how you all suffer.
The solution is to bring back the family unit, hold each other accountable and spend quality time together without devices.
When we as a society do this, we will have a revolution on our hands, and no one will ever even have to raise their voice or prescribe another drug to do it.
14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212267214010557 15. https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/ritalin/