By Dean L. Jones, CPM
Artificial intelligence emulates human intelligence, where that familiar saying ‘garbage in – garbage out’ aptly addresses our acquired smarts and health derived from what we eat, or choose not to eat. Choosing what not to eat is what an educational institution named Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia does by regularly practicing to not consume sugar-filled products on campus. As a result, the school’s sugar-free policy proves to reduce disciplinary-related issues and disturbances by more than 25%, and 30% for negative referrals to counselors.
Operating a sugar-free educational environment for over a decade has not just improved their students’ emotional and behavioral well-being, Browns Mill Elementary has improved in key areas such as, but not limited to, better test scores, lower truancy rates, fewer counselor referrals, and improved student health (decreased average body mass index of students). In the same way, there was a four-year nutritional study beginning in 1980 on the academic performance of 803 New York public schools, called “The Impact of a Diet Low in Food Additives and Sugar”. This study concluded that those children with a diet low in processed sugar and artificial additives resulted in a 15.7% increase in the academic percentile rating.
The far-reaching improvements from these nutritional programs comes as no surprise since eating any simple carbohydrate like processed sugar will produce a brain fog. A fog that is sometimes called the sugar blues, which is when you feel unnecessarily sluggish and find it hard to think clearly. What causes this is the body’s insulin rushing into the bloodstream to counteract the sugar rush, as excessive sugar has a strong mal-effect on the functioning of the brain.
Glucose is the form of sugar that travels in your bloodstream to fuel the mitochondrial furnaces responsible for your brainpower. Glucose is the only fuel normally used by brain cells and because neurons cannot store glucose, they depend on the bloodstream to deliver a constant supply of this precious fuel.
Sadly, many people find eating sugary products as a rewarding and innocent intake of nourishment, never realizing that it is working to lower the intelligence quotient (IQ). Eating processed sugar is as toxic as cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol, where both destroy brain cells. Cigarette smokers have many studies all resulting in how it lowers an IQ, more so than the IQ of non-smokers. The average IQ for non-smokers is about 101, while it is 94 for those who smoke.
Processed sugar is toxic to the mind and body, and we especially need all the brainpower we can get during this ambiguous socioeconomic era. In addition, achieving a relaxed and balanced state of mind can sometimes be a challenge whenever you are inebriated and hyped on chemicals such as processed sugar, which does not in any form or fashion help with relieving tension.
Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes of packaged foods & beverages.