It all depends on an individual’s genetic response to a particular food. People should eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, but how can they be made affordable and safe from certain pesticides?
What about sensitivities to candy, soy, milk, nuts, or other foods? What helps one person may be toxic to another person. For example, prisoners may complain of being served soy-based foods, if they respond to particular foods with adverse reactions. For some people, soy might be toxic, but for others it might prevent hip fractures and be tolerated. It all depends on an individual’s genes. Take, for example, one prisoner’s reaction to a soy-based diet.
Illinois prison officials are targeting activists seeking an end to a soy-laden diet with the practice of segregation, which is a denial of rights, and with other forms of cruel and unusual punishment, according to a September 28, 2009 press release, "Segregation, starvation for plaintiffs in soy lawsuit," from The Weston A. Price Foundation, Washington, DC. The individual has adverse, toxic reactions to soy. A variety of foods are tolerated by some, whereas the same foods might be toxic to those allergic to the specific food. For example, some people have adverse or very toxic reactions to peanuts, soy, corn, milk, or other foods.
According to the press release, the main recipients of retaliation are plaintiffs in Harris et al. v. Brown, et al., Case No. 3:07-cv-03225, which is currently pending before the Honorable Harold Baker in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The suit seeks an injunction putting a halt to the excessive use of soy in the prison diet.
One plaintiff was put in solitary confinement—referred to as “segregation”— specifically for exercising his right to file grievances about the soy diet. Segregation consists of confinement to a small cell with one other inmate (often with violent tendencies), without fans or air conditioning, allowed one shower per week and denied use of the commissary to purchase soy-free food.
According to the press release, "His stay in solitary confinement was prolonged due to trumped up charges by a prison guard." Although prescribed a soy-free diet because of a thyroid condition and a life-threatening reaction to soy products, many of the meals brought to him contained large amounts of soy. Thus, his four-month confinement became a period of forced starvation.
Another plaintiff has gone on a hunger strike after being placed in solitary confinement and denied the soy-free commissary food he needs to survive. After strenuous objection by his attorney, the fabricated charge against him was dropped and he was released from confinement; but prison authorities continue to deny him his soy-free food and are threatening a feeding tube. He has been denied access to his possessions and prevented from making court-ordered phone calls to his son.
A third inmate, a plaintiff in a separate lawsuit, has been subject to extreme punishment, including having a finger broken, for filing grievances.
“I understand from our attorney handling the case that filing grievances is the only means inmates have for redressing wrongs,” says Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. “Punishment for filing grievances violates basic constitutional rights.”
The soy-based prison diet began shortly after Rod Blagojevich was elected governor of Illinois in 2002. Beginning in January 2003, inmates began receiving a diet largely based on processed soy protein with very little meat. In most meals, small amounts of meat or meat by-products are mixed with 60-70 percent soy protein; fake soy cheese has replaced real cheese; and soy flour or soy protein is now added to most prison baked goods.
In their letters, the prisoners have described deliberate indifference to a myriad of serious health problems caused by the large amounts of soy in the diet. Complaints include chronic and painful constipation alternating with debilitating diarrhea, vomiting after eating, sharp pains in the digestive tract after consuming soy, passing out after soy-based meals, heart palpitations, rashes, acne, insomnia, panic attacks, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as low body temperature (feeling cold all the time), brain fog, fatigue, weight gain, frequent infections and an enlarged thyroid gland.
Soy is touted as a way to save money and to provide a diet lower in calories and saturated fat. However, soybeans contain plant estrogens and other toxins and anti-nutrients that make soy products unacceptable as a source of nutrition except in very small amounts.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists over 200 studies showing toxicity of soy in its Poisonous Plant Database. Although the FDA allowed a soy-prevents-heart disease health claim in 1999, the agency is considering revoking that claim in the face of evidence that soy does not lower cholesterol and does not prevent heart disease.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit have requested a temporary restraining order against further retaliation. According to Fallon, “The tactics of Illinois prison personnel puts the lives of the plaintiffs in danger and increase liability issues for the state of Illinois.”
Some people have adverse reactions or allergies to cow’s milk. Others can’t tolerate soy milk. It’s an individual response, but there have been quite a few studies on people’s reactions to soy products as well as milk produts and to candy, sugar, and a variety of specific foods.
Is there a releationship between adverse reactions to foods in childhood and later violence or even candy, sugar, and violence later even when few symptoms show up in childhood? Here are the results of a recent study that followed children for decades. The children studied had eaten candy daily.
What About Studies on Candy and Violence?
A new study raises more questions than it answers. Nutritionists want to know how sugar in candy fed to children ignite criminal acts when they reach adolescent or adulthood? The theory psychologists tell them is that when you give children candy regularly, it’s seen as a reward. The candy industry may probably direct parents to make sure their children eat sweets responsibly just as the alcohol industry repeats its advice to adults to drink responsibly.
Pyschologists will remind nutritionists about how children become addicted to foods such as sugar, cheese, chocolate, and meat, by eating the same foods frequently, and especially after performing a valued task as a reward–such as doing chores or homework. The behavior is all about instant gratification.
After getting instant gratification for doing some chore, some behaviorists may say, the children rewarded with candy tend to stop learning how to wait a specific length of time in order to obtain the reward at the end of a chore or learning session. By instant gratification with a candy reward (or even a toy) children have a difficult time being able to defer gratification to a future time.
It’s the inability to defer gratification into the future that may keep a child from learning to control impulsive behavior. Psychologists and nutritionists call children mature when they learn to control impulses and delay gratification of eating a candy reward to a future time set by others or specific achievement goals.
Eat a sweet reward releases dopamine in the child’s brain, that could addict the child to sugar or any other food that’s been called highly addictive–sugar, cheese, chocolate, and meat. But it’s sugar that when placed in a baby’s mouth that releases the feel-good dopamine in the baby’s brain.
The pleasurable sensation of sugar on the tongue of a baby as the dopamine surges through the child’s brain associates the sweet taste of sugar or candy with the person giving the candy or the event. It’s an instant reward the child wants repeated.
So, the researchers theorize that eating candy could push children towards impulsive, quick decision making and behavior. And not being able to delay gratification to receive a reward later usually is associated with impulsive acts, delinquency, crime, and immaturity when they become adults and have to make choices.
The idea of rearing children is to teach them to delay gratification until they get their reward–graduation from school, accomplishment, and skills to become financially independent in adulthood. But how would delaying gratification or impulsive behavior relate to a child frequently being rewarded with candy? And are children given candy to distract them or to keep them quiet or busy not vying for their busy parent’s time?
Scientists emphasize and theorize how frequent candy rewards play a role years later when the child grows up and commits violence. The frequent reward may condition the child’s brain to act on impulse instead of controlling the knee-jerk hostility emotion that leads to road rage and similar violent acts.
An unusual study released in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggests that there is a link between childhood candy consumption and adulthood violence. Simon Moore and others from the University of Cardiff followed 17,000 children for the past 40 years and discovered those that ate candy daily as 10-year-olds were significantly more likely to be arrested for violent crimes as adults. In fact, the police already had booked 69 percent of the daily sugar eaters for violence by age 34. Even after accounting for sociological differences, a significant link between candy and violence remained.
In the new British study, also noted on MSNBC’s site in an article titled, "Candy-gobbling kids may turn violent as adults," and reported in the scientific study-based journal article, "Confectionery consumption in childhood and adult violence," researchers have spent the past four decades tracking 10-year-olds’ candy intake and found that those who ate the sweet treats on a daily basis were more likely to be arrested for violent offenses than those who didn’t. The scientists behind the study say that its results support the belief that those who eat healthier foods tend to make better behavioral decisions.
The research noted, according to the abstract, "Diet has been associated with behavioral problems, including aggression, but the long-term effects of childhood diet on adult violence have not been studied." Scientists tested the hypothesis that excessive consumption of confectionery at age 10 years predicts convictions for violence in adulthood (age 34 years).
Data from age 5, 10 and 34 years were used. Children that ate confections daily at age 10 years were significantly more likely to have been convicted for violence at age 34 years, "a relationship that was robust when controlling for ecological and individual factors."
The new results are based on data from the British Cohort Study, a large research effort to chart the long-term health of almost every person born in Britain during a one-week period in April of 1970. That amounts to more than 17,000 people who are assessed at regular intervals. The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) is a continuing, multi-disciplinary longitudinal study which takes as its subjects all those living in England, Scotland and Wales who were born in one particular week in April 1970.
See: the study, Simon C. Moore, Lisa M. Carter, and Stephanie van Goozen "Confectionery consumption in childhood and adult violence," The British Journal of Psychiatry 2009 v. 195, p. 366-367. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]. The October 2009 study revealed that 69 per cent of those with a criminal record of violence consumed candy daily as children. The researchers looked at other social and economic factors that might have skewed their findings. When everything was taken into account, the link between sweets and violence persisted.
Obesity Data Resources
- Obesity Among Adults in the United States-No Statistically Significant Change Since 2003-2004
- Health, United States trend tables with data on health risk factors
- Health Data Interactive (search on overweight)
- Prevalence of overweight, obesity and extreme obesity among adults: United States, trends 1976-1980 through 2005-2006
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Overweight and Obesity
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
- NCHS Home
Obesity Statistics (Data are for the U.S.)
Percent of noninstitutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are overweight or obese: 67% (2005-2006)
Percent of noninstitutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are obese: 34% (2005-2006)
Percent of adolescents age 12-19 years who are overweight: 18% (2005-2006)
Percent of children age 6-11 years who are overweight: 15% (2005-2006)
Percent of children age 2-5 years who are overweight: 11% (2005-2006)
Child Health Day Resources
Sacramento Local Guide
For more info: browse my books, Neurotechnology with Culinary Memoirs from the Daily Nutrition & Health Reporter (2009). Or browse: How Nutrigenomics Fights Childhood Type 2 Diabetes & Weight Issues (2009) or Predictive Medicine for Rookies (2005). Or see my books, How to Safely Tailor Your Foods, Medicines, & Cosmetics to Your Genes (2003) or How to Interpret Family History & Ancestry DNA Test Results for Beginners (2004) or How to Open DNA-driven Genealogy Reporting & Interpreting Businesses. (2007). Check out my free audio lecture on Internet Archive, How nutrigenomics fights childhood type 2 diabetes. Photo credits: USDA – berries.
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