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Nutrition and Behavior

June 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

Food and Behavior Nutrition Effects Behavior

Many research reports show that good nutrition has a positive effect on behavior. This include better school performance and preventing probationers from re-offending.

At the conference I attended on “Brain Repair”, Barbara Reed Stitt, PhD, author of the book “Food and Behavior“, received the Abram Hoffer Lifetime Achievement Award for her pioneering work in the use of food to improve behavior. (The book is a must read for all parents, educators and psychologists.)

Like Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, the namesake of this award who bucked conventional wisdom to focus on the biochemical basis of addictive and mental health disorders, Dr. Stitt was willing to stand out among her peers doing what worked even if it wasn’t the standard of care in her day.

As Chief Probation Officer in Cuyahog Falls, Ohio, she fine tuned her program for seven years until courageously revising the modus operandi of the Probation Department, beginning in 1970.

An astute medical detective, Dr. Stitt looked for hypoglycemia, food allergies, adrenal gland fatigue, heavy metal accumulation, and B vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. She knew these five problems led to distortions of thinking and decision-making. When these were addressed the results were astounding: Even though it is common for over half of arrestees to be drug dependent and for recidivism rates to be as high as 77%, over 80% of her probationers stayed out of the criminal justice system during the last twelve years of her work in Ohio.

The Wall Street Journal featured her success in a story in June, 1977 and numerous scientific studies have also found such numbers. A recent interview is found below.

Also, research from Professor Stephen Schoenthaler, PhD, California State University, Stanislaus, shows that the use of vitamin-mineral supplements was able to reduce, on average, prison rule violations 38% in California using supplements that cost 4 cents per day, with a savings to taxpayers in a ratio of $1 invested in supplement returning $1,000 to the State within one month.


Eventually Dr. Stitt turned her focus to prevention, reaching out to schools in the hope of changing the future for students and for the society that suffered from the consequences of their biochemical imbalances. For 5 years, begining in 1983, Dr. Stitt and her husband underwrote a school healthy eating program. They provided whole grain bagels and a flax drink high in omega 3 that was given to students in up to 70 different schools in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota morning and afternoon.

They taught the teachers how to teach nutrition. In 1997 they were invited to Wisconsin’s Appleton Central Alternative High School, where a full time policeman patrolled the halls. Guns, fights, and poor performance were rife.

The Stitts replaced soda machines and sugar laden cafeteria food (including artificial colors and corn syrup) with water and wholesome fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Within three months the police officer had little to do. The children’s behavior changed dramatically and was so consistently good the superintendent of the entire school district of 15,000 students took note and made all his schools change to wholesome food.

Dr. Stitt has been proving the relationship between food and behavior for the betterment of clients for over 39 years.

So, why hasn’t the rest of the country caught on!??

Why does it seem so difficult for people to catch on as to how valuable good nutrition is for proper brain functioning?

I encourage anyone and everyone to do what they can to educate public officials about this. Get the prisons and schools “cleaned up” by getting rid of “junk food” so people can function at a high level.

For your own family, work on giving them the best nutrition you can. Start by reducing sugar intake with the number one culprit being soft drinks. For more information click here: Nutritional Guidelines for Correcting Behaviornutriton

For supplements specifically formulated for drug addiction, see:

nutriton supplementnutriton

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