9. "Is Our Diet Driving Us Crazy?"
Since the turn of the century drastic changes in the American diet
have played havoc with our health. Diabetes, hypertension, heart disease,
and cancer have been linked with eating habits. Although it is not known
exactly how 126 pounds of sugar and 9 pounds o£ additives annually
affect our mental state, there is mounting evidence that 6.4 million
Americans now under mental care, as well as 13.6 million in need of
it, could be cured through nutrition:
Kaiser Permanente Department of Allergy chief emeritus, Benjamin F.
Feingold, hypothesized in 1973 that one to five million American schoolchildren
diagnosed as hyperkinetic are actually victims of toxicity due to ingestion
of artificially dyed and flavored foods. Now one hundred "Feingold
Associations" claim great success by applying these findings.
Biochemist and physician Abram Hoffer maintains that 70 percent of
prison inmates imprisoned for serious crimes have vitamin deficiencies
lending to aggressive behavior. He also found through his research that
90 percent of convicted murderers diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenics
suffer from vitamin deficiencies or low blood sugar.
In the 1930's, 10 percent of mental patients in the South were suffering
from pellagra. It was found to be a B-vitamin, or niacin deficiency
stemming from the high-corn, low-protein, diet. Before this discovery,
it was not called pellagra; it was called schizophrenia.
Yet, the mental area is the least funded in all nutrition research.
The National Institute of Mental Health is funding only one: a $118,000
study on the Feingold hypothesis. Although the National Institute of
Health was mandated to study the role of nutrients in major disease,
the Department of Agriculture has recently been designated as the agency
for nutritional research. Meanwhile, NIH has already spent 70 percent
of the funding for this.
The evidence that poor nutrition is costing America millions of dollars
and minds each year and the mass media's failure to consider this a
major issue, qualifies this story for nomination as a "best censored"
story of 1978.
The Progressive, May, 1978, p. 26, "Is Our Diet Driving Us Crazy?",
by Jeanne Schinto.