Some say ADD is caused by sleep deprivation, lack of parental guidance or even imperfect genes, while these may have some impact, the root cause can be traced to Cocoa Puffs and Yosemite Sam. Yes, that's right, those little brown pellets filled with chocolate sugary goodness and that dual six gun packing hombre looking to put twelve holes in that 'wabbit.' And let's not forget all their friends either, Frosted Flakes, Raisin Bran, etc. and all the other violent cartoons we grew up with.
The real culprits are of course: sugar and sensory overload. From a tender age children are subjected to TV, violent images from cartoons, movies, computer games and a continuous bombardment of music that gives the soul no time for rest. Instead, their subconscious and unconscious, and of course, their conscious minds and hence their emotions are filled with jittery violent scenes and raucus music. It becomes an addiction.
I heard on the radio recently that children ate one pound of sugar per year in 1900 and that today they eat about a pound a day. While this may be exagerated, it may be closer to the truth than we know. Consider the day in the life of a seven year old. Breakfast: Cocoa Cocoa Puffs w/sugar, orange juice, chocolate milk, maybe some jam on toast. We're talking hypoglycemic overload all ready. What about all the snacks, soft drinks, cafeteria food, more snacks, candy and soft drinks the rest of the day, topped off with a delicious desert made by good 'ole Mom. And wouldn't a nice sugar laden drink go good with the final TV program of the night.
Try sitting one of these kids down for a little quiet time of say, a half hour. With their weak physical sugar wracked condition and their emotions whipped up into a frenzy by TV and computer games, they can't handle it. The sensors are frayed. The synapses will only work with the sub-woofer pumped up. No wonder people think they need Ritalin, but that is not the solution. Drugs are not the answer.
the editor, Reverse Spins
Trends: The U.S. has the highest rate of both ADD diagnosis and methylphenidate use in the world, with an estimated 1.5 million U.S. children currently using the drug each school day. While the number of kids diagnosed with ADD in recent years has prompted concern that the condition may be overdiagnosed (and Ritalin overprescribed), the new focus on the disorder has resulted in expanded use of the drug among adults, usually with good results and few side effects.
Demographics: Unlike most other Schedule II drugs, production of Ritalin has increased in recent years, primarily due to growing demand within the United States. In 1999, 9.9 million U.S. prescriptions were written for Ritalin. Non-medical illicit use resulted in 1,478 hospital emergencies during the year. from: Ritalin: Fast Facts