Many of us are puzzled by the phenomenal increase in the number of children that have ADD, ADHD, learning struggles, and problematic behavior. We have also seen a threefold increase in the use of Ritalin and antidepressants in children. As a consultant to public schools, private schools and home school parents, I have seen this dramatic increase in bright, wonderful, struggling children. Many educators and parents are wondering why we are seeing this population grow so rapidly. Maybe you have been wondering about this, too.
Several research projects in the past few years have brought our attention to the biological basis of these struggles, specifically a difficulty with fatty acid metabolism. They have highlighted the relationship between learning, behavior, and attention disorders to an essential fatty acid deficiency in children. The more recent studies corroborate the older ones. In a 1981 study that was reported in the medical journal Medical Hypotheses, a large number of hyperactive children showed deficiencies in essential fatty acids. This particular study revealed that boys have a three-times higher need for essential fatty acids than girls. This might be one explanation for the larger number of boys experiencing difficulties in various areas of learning and behavior.”Boys with lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acids in their blood scored higher in frequency of behavior problems,” including hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, temper tantrums, and sleep problems according to recent research done at Purdue University.