Health Advice



Are you dumbing down your kids?

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In "Idiocracy," a 2006 movie starring Luke Wilson, Cpl. Joe Bauers is enrolled in a top-secret military hibernation program but is forgotten. When he awakens 500 years later, he discovers that folks have become so idiotic that he's easily the most intelligent person alive. Well, it turns out that it doesn't take 500 years to see evidence of dumbing down. You can do it within your child's lifetime, by dishing up sweet, sugary foods and drinks to the young'uns and not helping teens eat more healthfully.

A new study out of Australia found that long-term overeating of sugary foods and having obesity alters the brain's ability to remember events and situations, and contributes to attention deficit disorders. It also prevents needed growth of new neurons that fuel cognition. The result, suggest the researchers, is an adult who is hyperactive and cognitively impaired.

The study, published in Frontiers of Neuroscience, was done in a lab with mice -- but there's no reason to think that the results don't reflect an all-too-real danger to your kids. The researchers even go so far as to say that the results show that overconsumption of sucrose starting from childhood has the same negative impact on the nervous system, emotions and cognition throughout adulthood as (other) addictive drugs!

Fortunately, they also found that the damage is reversible. So if you start today to delete all sugar-added foods from your kids' diet, you can prevent obesity and stop blocking your child's ability to think, remember and process information.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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