Dumbing Down the American Population

“Given that human capital is a prerequisite for success in the global economy, U.S. economic competitiveness is unsustainable with poorly prepared students feeding into the workforce.” Kirsch, 2007

There are ways to wage war on a people without employing armies of weapons and soldiers. Devastating economic failure can be very effective OR the spread of lethargy and inertia through the body of a society can act as a cancer destroying the brains of a people. It is not a new story and many once powerful nations can boast of an equally spectacular decline.

Americans are a proud people and at one time America was considered a great nation, one that led the world towards individual freedom and independence. A mere 234 years old, America is equivalent to an 18-year-old teenager in terms of a country’s life span, with all the energy, creativity, aggression, hormones and testosterone a teenager brings to living. We even eat like a teenager: quickly, on the run, with no thought for what we consume, where the food comes from or who/what suffers in the making of said food. America rocks the world with new technological inventions and the third world fights us mano-o-mano to preserve their independence, but we do not listen because we know it all; plus, they have what we need to run our toys: oil, lithium, water, and land.

Now, I am as intrigued by a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but as I look around at my country, I have to wonder at the virus destroying America from within. I am reluctant to use the ubiquitous “they” as the cause. As in “they” are behind the destruction of our country. Decline can be caused by any number of factors, and once established, may allow for manipulation by the malevolent “they” or merely be pushed towards the inevitable implosion by each citizen’s self-destructive addictions, apparently stronger than the desire to live a disciplined way of life.

With the decline of a quality food supply comes the inevitable decline in our most important natural resource, our brainpower. Your brain’s ability to function is primarily dependent on glucose, omega-fatty acids, water, vitamins and minerals. It accounts for 2 percent of our body weight, and consumes roughly 20 percent of our daily calories. What it demands is a constant supply of glucose not in the form of sugar-laden junk foods, but rather unrefined carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Without these foods, the brain can exhibit confused thinking, depression, aggression, and anti-social behavior.

Perhaps we are seeing the results of this brain lack in American students dropping to 22nd in math, 19th in science and 49th for literacy worldwide, on a diet of refined sugar, bagels, pizza, burgers and French fries. Or perhaps it reveals itself more shockingly on the other end of the age spectrum with 5.4 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, which by 2050 could reach 16 million people. Further proof reveals that over 27 million, or 10 percent of the American population are taking anti-depressants, and these often come along with a cornucopia of pharmaceutical medications, each with a list of not-so-pleasant side effects.

The American citizen has entrusted their well-being to a rag tag conglomerate of corporate food and pharmaceutical scientists and the results are self evident. The battle being waged in America should be to protect our food supply from further contamination and to encourage the return of whole foods to America’s schools, corporate cafeterias, food markets, and home kitchens. Feed the people’s brains not their widening bellies, but it is up to each individual American to take the first step and then pass the word.

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Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


holly masih
.6 years ago

The problem did not get here overnight,and it will not leave overnight.But EVERYONE,parents,teachers,the community,and even the children themselves,need to take RESPONSBILITY.Everyone needs to work together on this,and put forth the effort to correct this problem.The longer we wait,the harder it will be to fix.

GwendolynGone K.
Gwendolyn Krupa6 years ago

We, as Americans, can still be proud to live in this country. We are still a great nation. While far from perfect, I am still glad to be here.
Much of this article makes a great deal of sense. Thank-you.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

It's the way of the white that is killing this earth slowly and surely!
Native Americans were the natural safeguards of life on the continent!

Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

I think everyone has a point about "why" this happened. I think its time to change this trend with a quiet revolution by the good people of America who are the grandparents, the parents, the teachers, and individuals who actually care about the children, who are in truth "us in the future."

The corporations are capitalism gone crazy, and we need to rein them in----stockholders and employees, employers and regular people who buy the goods----we are "them". It started slowly and crept insidiously into the greedy consciousness of the ones who had the most to gain in the energy, food and every industry, but it can end quickly when enough people squash the infesting worm that it is.

Its us who need to move on this. The First Lady and Pres. Obama are with us on this if we move on it. As a proud people, and as a "teenager" country, its time to rebel against the powers that hold us back from being all we can be!

Ioana Boca
Ioana B6 years ago

great article,thanks

Lucille G.
Lucille G6 years ago

As a retired public school teacher, I am in complete agreement with this article. In the course of my thirty year career, I saw a steady downward spiral of children's intellectual abilities and interests. From the over-processed, salt and fat laden school breakfasts and lunches, to the lack of or the elimination of quality physical education programs, we have been slowly destroying our kids abilities to function well in a classroom because the majority of them are unable to remain focused or become uninterested because the classroom is not as interesting as television, video games, the internet, etc. Thankfully, there are parents whose children are doing well in school, eager to learn and able to function well because they are well-cared for and well-fed. Too many parents because of hectic lifestyles or others who are content to let the school alone be responsible for their children. They seem to have a sense of entitlement, but take no responsibility for how their children behave, whether or not they have a healthy home environment for learning, whether or not they are trying to feed their children the best food they can afford, yet they are quick to yell and criticize the school system. There is a great deal wrong with our systems, but parent apathy towards our schools, voter apathy towards our government, and lack of responsibility from all aspects of the public and private sectors are doing a better job of destroying our society than any outside/foreign group can.

Victoria S.
Victoria S6 years ago

What a well written article, very thoughtful. Though I'm affraid it's not only an american problem

Iona Kentwell
Iona Kentwell6 years ago

I love this analogy of the nation being a teenager! There are some very valid points to this article. All of us can make a difference however. Who do we get our food from, who do we support with our customer $'s? Nutrition is an important part of our ability to think, but so is education. Don't just hand it over to the schools, the teachers. With the state of things at the moment they've got enough just keeping the kids alive! Take over the responsibilty for your and your childrens ability to think and learn.
The problems mentioned in this article aren't only in the U.S. it's a fast creeping epidemic and we need to take charge now.

Peg R.
Randolph M6 years ago

Lyn Z.
What Values? Values went do the tubes in the 60's!