Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Poor Kids Need Vitamins: Only Priveliged Kids (Who Don't Need Them) Take them

Interesting study finds that it's privileged kids who don't need vitamins who take them. Poor kids, who have poor diets and might actually benefit are the ones who don't. The investigator had hypothesized that poor families might use vitamins to buffer poor nutrition but found, not surprisingly, that poor kids rarely took vitamins.

There is apparently little research on this, but Richard Rothstein et. al. report on a double-blind study showing that providing vitamin supplements to poor children directly resulted in increased test scores.

But, of course, giving poor kids vitamins in the morning (maybe yummy ones) is not only too difficult to do on a regular basis, it's not really important enough to study very carefully.

Pedagogy. Remember. It's all about pedagogy. That's what we do.

We now return to our regular programming.


Barbara Stengel said...


You are probably the one among us who is most relentlessly mind-body oriented and I want to reinforce that. For the past several years, I've been facing more and more theory and more and more research that makes it clear that effective education and carefully-guided development is simply impossible in the absence of a rich understanding of the way the body works. And this understanding is hitting close to home.

I have a stepson (sort of, long story) who has been treated for Convergence Insufficiency, a way too common (1 in 20 perhaps?) condition in youngsters whose eyes don't work in a coordinated fashion. These kids have 20-20 vision and significant reading and learning problems. Once recognized, convergence insufficiency is easily treatable (with computerized practice); after treatment, dramatic improvements in learning generally and reading in particular follow. My stepson has gone from reluctant, struggling student to academic star almost overnight.

I will refrain from telling other family and friend stories of kids who are struggling with issues -- usually linking learning, academic achievement or lack thereof, mental health, school attendance, etc. -- that clearly have to be addressed with a multidisciplinary perspective. But it's clear to me that too few of us can or want to speak across disciplinary divides. I know, for example, that at least some of the reading specialist faculty at my university don't know about convergence insufficiency. They are teaching future teachers and reading specialists but are not able to tell them about this likely source of reading problems. And so we go on judging children as not able or not willing to learn when we are the ones dropping the ball.

Today the latest copy of Counseling Today arrived at my door with a cover story titled "Making the Mind-Body Connection." I wish we would.

Meaghan said...

That is an interesting study. Thanks for posting!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Aaron, for the links.