attention span

  1. Sham study aims to put 2 million kids on ADHD meds

    Did pill-pushing apologists invent sham disease for kids?

    He's supposed to be learning long division, but his brain is somewhere else. He's daydreaming about making the game-winning shot. Maybe he's practicing his autograph in the margins of his math homework.

    To me, he's just a typical 10-year-old -- but I guess I don't see the world through Big Pharma-tinted glasses. Because when those dope peddlers look at your kid, all they see are dollar signs.

    And it looks like these corporate hogs are getting ready to once again dip their filthy hooves into your family's piggy bank to try to wring every last penny out of you that they can. To do it, they've even invented some sham disease that sounds like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, not a medical journal.

    The infamous Dr. Russell Barkley... the same guy who I could almost swear has never met a kid he wouldn't diagnose with ADHD... has returned. And from this side of the fence it looks like he's practically working hand-in-hand with his drug company sugar-daddies to make sure that by this time next year, your kid (and every other kid you know) never goes to school without a bottle of dangerous pills.

    Barkley and his colleagues are claiming to have "discovered" a new form of ADHD that would allow AT LEAST 2 million more kids to qualify for dangerous drugs like Ritalin. Kids afflicted with Dr. Barkley's mysterious new "sluggish cognitive tempo" could be lethargic and may spend a lot of time daydreaming.

    In other words, they're KIDS. But they won't stay regular kids for long, once powerful stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin get them fidgeting and grinding their teeth like a pack of rabid, pill-popping zombies.

    Dr. Barkley is the godfather of ADHD in America. He even publishes an ADHD newsletter for parents. But like lots of "godfathers," he keeps some pretty shady company. He's been accepting "fees" from Eli Lilly, one of the largest makers of ADHD meds, for years -- and I'll give you one guess who generously cooperated with his latest research.

    And it's a heck of a deal for them. ADHD drugs retail for up to $150 a month. Figure 2 million kids over 12 months, and we're talking about a Big Pharma haul of an extra $3.6 BILLION A YEAR!

    And all they had to do was invent a disease.

    Any time some bigwig researcher starts pushing for more kids to take drugs, I don't just check his background -- I check his pockets. And more often than not, I find a heck of a lot more than lint.

    Just months from now, doctors across America are going to start writing prescriptions for "sluggish cognitive tempo," and they've got their sights set square on your kid. But before you consider dangerous drugs for your child, consider the source.

    Because sluggish cognitive tempo isn't some medical breakthrough. It's a billion-dollar swindle that stinks worse than a desert outhouse.

  2. How TV rots little brains

    You've heard that TV can rot a kid's brain -- but that's more than just a figure of speech. Fast-paced shows like "SpongeBob Squarepants" can turn bright kids into dimwits before the next commercial break.

    In an experiment that borders on child abuse, 4-year-old kids were asked to watch nine minutes of either the fast-paced "SpongeBob" show or a gentler program called "Caillou," while a control group sat quietly and drew pictures.

    I feel dumber just typing the name "SpongeBob Squarepants," so I wasn't surprised when I read in Pediatrics that the kids who watched it did worse on a bunch of mental tests afterwards -- suggesting short-term problems with learning, attention span, memory, and executive function… all after just nine minutes of dopey programming.

    All told, the "SpongeBob" kids scored an average of 12 points lower than kids who watched "Caillou" or who sat quietly and drew pictures.

    These kids even had a harder time with delayed gratification.

    In one test, the children were timed to see how long they'd wait before eating a snack. And while the "Caillou" and crayon kids held out for an average of four minutes, the ones who watched "SpongeBob" grabbed for that snack after two and a half.

    I've already seen TV-loving critics chime in to defend "SpongeBob" and blast the study -- but the bottom line here is that 4-year-old kids shouldn't be watching ANY television at all, much less something this stupid.

    And yes, it IS stupid.

    Just to be fair, I went online and watched some "SpongeBob" -- and I feel like I lost a little of my brain, too.

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