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5 Reasons We’re Fatter Than 30 Years Ago, It’s Not Food Or Exercise…

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“If you are 40 years old now, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than if you were a 40 year old in 1971, to prevent gaining weight.” York University Press Release (source)

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A study conducted by researchers at York University in Toronto, Ontario, who “set out to identify whether the relationship between number of calories consumed, amount of physical exercise, and intake of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) with obesity has changed over time,” has been published. You can read that full study here.

Please keep in mind, we are raising awareness here about obesity and why it can be harmful to your health. We believe addressing core issues around weight challenges is a key solution here.

In order to do this they evaluated dietary data of approximately 40,000 Americans between 1971 and 2008, as well as exercise data of approximately 15,000 individuals between 1998 and 2006. They found that when all three factors were equal, a person in 2006 would still have a body mass index that was approximately 10 percent higher than that of a person eight years prior. This means that a person eating the same amount of macronutrients, like fat and protein, eating the same amount of calories and exercising the same amount as a person did in 1988 (of the same age), would still be heavier today.

“Our study results suggest that if you are 40 years old now, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than if you were a 40 year old in 1971, to prevent gaining weight. . . . [and[ it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.” (source)

A press release from York university points out how weight management is much more complex than the average person realizes. According to the lead author of the study, Professor Jennifer Kuk,  it is “actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out.’ That’s similar to saying your investment account balance is simply your deposits subtracting your withdrawals and not accounting for all the other things that affect your balance like stock market fluctuations, bank fees or currency exchange rates.”

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Kuk explains how our body weight is impacted by our lifestyle and environment, and lists a number of reasons why “ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever.”

Studies like this are important, especially given the fact that the past several decades have seen a very dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity in both developed and developing nations.

Although Professor Kuk and her colleagues did not come to any firm conclusions, they did suggest some possible contributing factors we might want to take a look at.

Pharmaceutical Prescription Drugs

“Additional novel factors that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic include increases in pharmaceutical prescriptions associated with weight gain, higher maternal age, reduction in variability of ambient temperature, decreased prevalence of smoking, inadequate amount of sleep and low calcium.” (source, pg 8)

This is definitely a big possibility, and several studies have come to this conclusion. This study cites four. (Source 1)(Source 2)(Source 3)(Source 4)

Experts report that up to 25 percent of people who take antidepressants can expect to put on an extra 10 pounds or more. (source)

It’s no secret that prescription drug use has been associated with weight gain and other unhealthy side effects. Despite the fact that governments around the world market them as completely safe, death by medicine is a 21st century epidemic. You might not know it, but prescription drugs actually kill far more people than do illegal drugs.

In June 2010, a report published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter of a million deaths were labelled as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. Approximately half a million preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year.

The latest example of this comes from an independent review that found that the commonly prescribed antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) is not safe for teenagers, despite the fact that a large amount of literature already previously suggested this. The 2001 drug trial that took place, funded by GlaxoSmithKline, found that these drugs were completely safe, and used that ‘science’ to market Paxil as safe for teenagers. You can read more about that here.

All this is because prescription drugs really aren’t as safe as they are marketed to be, and alternative means for medicating oneself are not even made known to the patient or studied by most doctors. If it isn’t a pharmaceutical grade, manufactured, chemical based drug, it is most often ignored.

“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”  – (source)(source) Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal

So when it comes to these prescription drugs, there is a lot more to look out for than just weight gain, and it’s important to take all these factors into consideration when looking honestly at our health.

Chemical Exposure

“Recent studies have observed that persistent organic pollutants, chemicals that can be found in food and everyday products, are associated with higher BMI and waist circumference and may be partially attributable to the rise in obesity rates. As well, the majority of agricultural beef cattle are given exogenous sex steroids in order to increase weight gain and feeding efficiency. Although there are concerns that this may influence human health, more research in this area is needed.” (source, pg 8)

Many common household products contain endocrine disruptors, some of which are structurally similar to hormones such as estrogen and therefore can affect a person’s normal bodily functions. Examples include bisphenol-A (BPA), PCBs, phthalates, triclosan, agricultural pesticides, and fire retardants.

Research also suggests that antibiotic-ridden meat has the same weight gaining effect on humans who consume it as it does on animals.

Billions of pounds of chemicals are sprayed in the United States alone every single year. Recent studies have shown how several of these chemicals, like Glyphosate (active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp Herbicide), are detrimental to human health, so it comes as no surprise that they could be considered a factor for weight gain.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides. . . . Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) article ID 179691

“Children today are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise.” As The Environmental Magazine reports, PANNA’s assessment of the latest science “leaves little room for doubt; pesticides are one key driver of this sobering trend.” October 2012 report by Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) (source)(source)

For more information on these chemicals, you can check out some of these CE article that go more in-depth into the topic:

Another Groundbreaking Study Emerges Linking Agricultural Pesticides To Autism

A Pregnant Woman Eating Organic Vs. Eating Conventional: It’s Time To Think About Your Baby

Here’s Why 19 Countries In Europe Just Completely Banned Genetically Modified Crops

“What Parents Need To Know About Monsanto: By 2025 One In Two Children Will Be Autistic”

Altered Gut Environment

“Studies on the intestinal bacteriome are revealing significant variations in gut microbiota between obese and non-obese animals and humans. These variations may cause a greater amount of caloric extraction from indigested dietary substances, which may increase body weight even when caloric intake does not increase.” (source pg 8)

It’s known that certain bacteria living in the gut do have an impact on weight gain and obesity. The study argues that because our meat consumption is much higher today than it was just a few decades ago, we could be unwittingly altering the environment of our guts. This seems like a fair assertion given the fact that many of these animal products are pumped full of hormones, antibiotics, and steroids. Another factor mentioned in the study was our increased consumption of artificial sweeteners and refined, processed foods in recent years.

Artificial sweeteners have been shown to stimulate the appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. They trick our brains into thinking they’re receiving sugar, and when no sugar arrives, the brain signals that it needs carbs — hence a weight gain promoting cycle ensues. 

Mentioned throughout the study is the reality that human lifestyle isn’t what it used to be. Previously, we were much more active, spent more time outdoors, and were surrounded by far more green space. Today, most of us spend the bulk of our time sitting still at work and in front of the T.V. screen after work. Unfortunately, obesity has become a major niche for various weight loss products, even though a healthy diet and adequate exercise, along with avoiding chemicals, should be enough to keep our weight down.

I also believe we eat too much and that this is not natural for our biological systems. I feel this is evinced most strongly in  studies which examine the benefits of caloric restriction. All of them show a prolonged lifespan and the retardation of age-related chronic diseases in a variety of species including rats, fish, flies, worms, and yeast. I believe this is also evident by all of the science that’s now emerging showing what intermittent fasting does to the human brain and body. You can read more about that here.

 

Dehydration

Did you know that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while also cutting back on portions, will help you lose weight and keep it off for at least a year? Did you know that over the course of one year, a person who increases water consumption by 1.5 litres a day can burn an extra 17,400 calories? Did you know that drinking cool water can speed up your metabolism? Or that feelings of hunger are often the result of dehydration rather than a need for calories?

You can learn more about this here: 11 Reasons Dehydration Is Making You Sick & Fat 

Junk Food Marketing

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “Are my thoughts really my own, or are they given to me?” I certainly have, particularly when it comes to certain perceived ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ that I feel. Most of these desires are the result of being subjected to heavy marketing by big corporations. Food corporations are of no exception, and it’s no secret that kids are the primary target for junk food marketing.

“We can see this clearly in check-out lines, where chocolate bars, candy, and soda are strategically placed at the eye levels of children. This type of marketing must be working, because one out of three (1/3) children in the US today are considered obese. Kids are not exposed to marketing via brand licensing, product placement, schools, stealth marketing, viral marketing, DVDs, games, and the internet. According to a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine, children aged 2-11 now see an average of more than 10 television food ads per day.” – Joe Martino, founder of Collective-Evolution.com (source)

Obesity is, arguably, the biggest global health threat our world faces today… think about that for a minute.

What You Can Do

  • Avoid foods that contain harmful chemical preservatives, hormones, or pesticides
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Buy whole, organic foods and cook from scratch
  • Healthy fats are essential. Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, and raw nuts and seeds.
  • Exercise
  • Eat until satisfied, not stuffed

Bottom line, in my opinion and based on my own experience, the best way to maintain a healthy weight is through a good diet and a decent amount of exercise, along with the avoidance of all types of junk food containing chemicals and additives. Easier said than done, I know, as some of these foods are made to be addicting, and in fact, sugar cravings aren’t that much different from a heavy cocaine or herion addiction. Although breaking some of these habits goes beyond willpower alone, I still believe, if there is a will there is a way. It’s your choice, and in a world where it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay healthy, becoming aware of our surrounding environment and what we are doing to ourselves is of utmost importance.

 

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Awareness

Medical Medium: The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness & The Power Of Your Thoughts

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Medical Medium is one of the most influential figures in the alternative health movement, and he firmly believes that our thoughts and beliefs can play an integral role in our health and wellness.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or a loved one currently battling a chronic illness? If so, how do you view it and what are you doing to help your body overcome it?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, Anthony William (also commonly known as the Medical Medium) is the author of several New York Times bestselling books including Liver Rescue and Life-Changing Foods. He’s also the primary figure behind the now viral Global Celery Juice Movement–a subject that we covered in great detail earlier this year.

However, what really sets Anthony William apart in the alternative health world is that the source of his insights is far more “alternative” than most of his equally successful counterparts. You see, rather than regularly citing scientific studies or findings throughout each of his books, Anthony instead credits a higher source that he channels out of compassion and a desire to truly heal us all–something that many believe modern medicine struggles with. (To learn more about Anthony’s incredible story read this.)

Several of us connected to Collective Evolution, myself included, have put many of Anthony’s suggestions into practice and I can say from personal experience that I’m grateful to have done so. As just the adoption of daily morning celery juice alone has worked wonders at improving both my own health and the health of my mother in just a few short months.

As part of the upcoming Hay House Heal Summit, two new videos featuring Anthony have recently been released, both of which share a perspective on our health that is certainly worth considering.

The Two Causes Of Chronic Illness

As Anthony outlines in the video, chronic illness ultimately boils down to the presence of toxins and pathogens. Toxins are defined as poisonous substances that are products of the metabolic activities of a living organism, while pathogens are causative agents of disease.

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Whether it be through the food that we are eating, the air that we are breathing, the surfaces that we are touching, or the liquids that we are drinking, our bodies are regularly exposed to things that both build up toxins and/or present us with triggers of illness that are only made stronger by the existing toxins within our body for it to feed and thrive off of.

It therefore becomes imperative that we consider taking proactive measures–whether it be those recommended by the Medical Medium or otherwise–to both rid our body of existing toxins and minimize the amount of new toxins we expose it to. I’ve personally found being more conscious of the dietary choices that I make, and opting to make my own food with non-processed organic ingredients as often as possible, as incredibly helpful in doing exactly this, especially when paired with celery juice first thing in the morning to help flush out pre-existing and new toxins I’ve managed to take on.

The Power Of Your Thoughts

Within this video, Anthony touches upon an aspect of health that I’ve become particularly connected to over the past 3 years through my work with the documentary Heal. Heal is a film that features some of the greatest minds in the alternative health movement including Deepak Chopra, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Kelly Brogan and the Medical Medium himself in an exploration of the role that our thoughts can play in our ability or inability to heal from illness and disease. (Note: If you haven’t seen it, the film is available on Netflix.)

While toxins and pathogens may play the physical leading roles in the development of disease, many believe that our thoughts and beliefs may play just as critical a role.

Whether you or someone close to you is or has battled a chronic illness, we all know that they can be scary, frustrating, and a million other related adjectives making the development of negative beliefs seemingly natural. While completely controlling them may not be possible, as Anthony points out in this video, it’s certainly worth at least attempting to minimize them.

For proof of this, look no further than the integral role that placebos have played in many studies. It may not do all of the work when it comes to your healing, but cutting back on the less than pleasant beliefs and showing yourself some compassion can only help (even if just mentally) in your healing journey.


If the above videos resonated with you, I encourage you to sign up for the FREE Hay House Heal Online Summit taking place from October 23rd – 29th. It’s not only slated to feature the complete interview lessons with the Medical Medium that the above two clips were taken from, but it also features several other lessons with impactful health figures like Bruce Lipton, PhD., Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, Chris Wark, Dr. Joe Dispenza and many more all set on helping you empower the powerful healer that lies within us all.

Sign up now and receive immediate access to 4 free lessons (including one with the Medical Medium) before the Summit begins on October 23rd!

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Alternative News

Thousands Protest In Switzerland As The Population Is Now Exposed To 5G Wireless Radiation

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A large portion of the Switzerland population is now exposed to 5G, and thousands of people showed up on the Swiss house of Parliament in Bern to protest.

  • Reflect On:

    With undeniable evidence showing this type of technology has disastrous health effects, what's really going on? People are aware of this, but governments continue to ignore all of this information.

Frank Clegg, the former President of Microsoft Canada, has released an insider’s view educational video regarding the health and safety concerns of 5G and wireless technologies. You can watch that video here. The main takeaway of his video is that there are numerous health concerns concerning wireless radiation, especially with regards to 5G, and that this type of technology is linked to a number of diseases, and yet it’s being implemented without any safety testing.

His words echo the message of thousands of scientists who have published numerous papers on not just 5G, but EMF radiation in general and how over-exposure from our computers, cell phones, cell phone towers and wifi signals are creating a disturbing health epidemic around the world.

You would think with more than 10,000 peer reviewed publications on the subject that the industry and our government health regulatory agencies would do some safety testing  before rolling it out, but no, they haven’t. To be honest, with so much science already making things quite clear, if they did any type of appropriate safety testing there is truly no way they would be able to rollout this technology. It would be a huge profit loss, which is why we don’t hear anything about the negative health consequences of this type of technology.

I’d like to point readers toward a fairly recent publication by Dr. Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, who says the following in his report “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them”:

“Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

If you want to learn more about 5G technology and the health concerns regarding electromagnetic radiation of this kind, the Environmental Health Trust is a great place to start.

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Switzerland

What’s happening in Switzerland might go global–it’s something that seems to be rolling out in North America at least. Switzerland’s population is now officially exposed to the new 5G networks.

As a result, thousands of people showed up in protest.

Yahoo News reports:

The protesters, many carrying placards, gathered in front of the Swiss parliament building, in a bid to stop the construction of more 5G-compatible antennae.

“The fact that so many people turned out today is a strong sign against the uncontrolled introduction of 5G,” said Tamlin Schibler Ulmann, co-president of Frequencia, the group that organised the rally.

[C]ritics in Switzerland argue that the electromagnetic radiation the new system emits poses unprecedented health and environmental risks compared to previous generations of mobile technology.

Online petitions have helped persuade several Swiss cantons — in Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg and Neuchatel — to postpone the construction of antennae as a precaution.

The Swiss Federation of Doctors (FMH) has also argued for a cautious approach to the new technology.

The first injuries due to 5G are already being reported in Switzerland, according to Physicians for Safe Technology.

Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policies that benefit their industry.

Internet service providers in the United States have spent more than $1.2 billion on lobbying since 1998, and 2018 was the biggest year so far with a total spend of more than $80 million.

Comparitech researchers compiled and analyzed 51 ISPs’ lobbying expenses from the US Senate’s Lobbying Disclosure Act database, which dates back to 1998.

Here are the highlights of our analysis:

  • 2018 was the biggest year yet for ISP lobbying at $80 million.
  • Top spenders include AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, which have amassed lobbying expenses of $341 million, $265 million, and $200 million, respectively since 1998.
  • Since 2011, yearly spending on lobbying across all ISPs hasn’t strayed below $72 million.
  • The largest amount spent by any provider in any year was AT&T in 1999, at almost $23 million. AT&T’s acquisition of Ameritech Corp accounted for much of this, and the merger eventually led to the creation of America’s largest telecom company.
  • Total spend from 2016 to 2019 is set to exceed lobbying expenses between 2012 and 2015, which totaled $295 million.
  • Lobbying in favor of mergers and acquisitions accounted for many of the biggest expenses for individual ISPs in a single year.
  • $1.2 billion has been spent by ISPs on lobbying since 1998.

It’s Obvious That 5G Technology Is Not Safe. Here Are Some Related CE Articles On The Topic With More Information

Ex VP of Microsoft Canada Explains How 5G Wireless Radiation Could Be A Huge Health Hazard

5G Is The “Stupidest Idea in The History of the World” – Says Washington State Professor

5G Technician Reveals The Damage He Believes 5G Will Cause

Brussels Becomes First Major City to Halt 5G Due to Health Effects

Devonshire, UK Halts The Installation of 5G Over Serious Health Concerns

Top Cancer Research Advisor Compares Wireless Radiation To Cigarettes

EMF Frequencies Used For Crowd Control Weapons Form The Foundation of 5G Network

The Takeaway & What You Can Do

Many of us have already started participating in protests, and many steps are being taken to stop 5G. Products and services are being banned, and the amount of awareness that’s been created within the past five years is promising. People are becoming aware of this stuff, and with awareness comes action, like the examples used in this article. Ten years ago, the world was silent on such issues. Today, we are making it difficult for services and products to make a profit, and approval processes have become stricter. We are definitely moving forward.

So, what can you do? You could purchase some EMF protective clothing and bedding, or you could even paint your home with EMF protective paint. You can unplug your computer when not in use, turn off your cell phone, and unplug all your electronic devices before you go to sleep. You could have a wired internet connection, which is actually much faster than any wireless connection. You can live a healthy lifestyle, and you can use mind-body healing techniques to help you.

Years ago many actions taken by governments and corporations went unnoticed. We are no doubt making things difficult for them, so let’s keep moving forward.

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Alternative News

The Mental Health Morass: Good for Pharma, Bad for Youth

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When several hundred Colorado high school students walked out of a post-school-shooting vigil last May to protest the event’s politicization, their departing chant was, “mental health, mental health.” While this response may have unsettled the event’s organizers, it was unsurprising in the context of widespread media accounts of an “epidemic of anguish” among American youth. According to this narrative, not only is “the increase in mental health issues among [U.S.] teens and young adults…nothing short of staggering,” but around the globe, mental illness is set to become the “next major global health challenge” and “pandemic of the 21st century.”

Without making light of the problem or minimizing anyone’s personal suffering, it is clear that one entity that stands to benefit mightily from a deepening mental health crisis is the pharmaceutical industry. Psychiatric medications have long been “growth superstars”—generating billions in sales for companies like Pfizer and Eli Lilly “as the U.S. became Prozac Nation, antipsychotics also became antidepressants, and ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] a byword.” Already in the mid-2000s, a Harvard economist reported that spending on psychotropic drugs had substantially outpaced overall prescription drug spending—no mean feat given the drug market’s exponential growth.

Outsized drug company profits and clever marketing tactics have prompted many to question the industry’s “oversized role in determining how mental illness is treated.” Even in conventional medical circles, clinicians acknowledge the need for “radical change in the paradigm and practices of mental health care,” including interventions that emphasize prevention and non-pharmacologic treatment modalities. These sorts of recommendations are urgently needed—not least for the young people for whom there is scant evidence of psychotropic medication safety or efficacy.

Overlapping trends

Modern psychiatry situates an alphabet soup of diagnoses under the broad rubric of “mental, emotional and behavioral” (MEB) disorders. It is no longer uncommon for children and adolescents to receive one or more of these diagnoses: anxiety disorder; attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; bipolar disorder; conduct disorder; depression; disruptive behavior disorder; drug abuse or dependence; eating disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder; oppositional defiant disorder; pervasive developmental disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; and schizophrenia.

The proliferation of mental health diagnoses in young people overlaps considerably with trends in diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, mental health diagnoses frequently intersect with physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, which are more often present in children with mental disorders than in children without such disorders. Pediatric hospital admissions for non-behavioral disorders result in higher costs and longer stays when they are comorbid with behavioral disorders.

One of the few large-scale surveys to focus on MEB disorders in children (rather than adults) was the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), conducted from 2001 to 2004. The NCS-A found that half of U.S. youth (ages 13-18) had been diagnosed with at least one MEB disorder—including one in five with behavior disorders and three in ten with anxiety disorders—with the impairments rated as “severe” in roughly one-fourth of the affected teens. For many of the young people, onset and diagnosis occurred well before adolescence. Reviewing the evidence, the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine reported in 2009 that “early MEB disorders should be considered as commonplace as a fractured limb: not inevitable but not at all unusual.”

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The impact

Recent research has documented some of the impact of these “commonplace” diagnoses in young people. Between 2011 and 2015, for example, visits by U.S. youth to psychiatric emergency departments increased by 28%. By age group, the largest increase—54%—was seen in adolescents (as compared to younger children or youth in their early 20s), in whom the researchers also reported a 2.5-fold increase in suicide-related visits. As of 2010, mood disorders (which include both bipolar and depressive disorders) were the most frequent principal diagnosis given to hospitalized children ages 1-17—up 80% since 1997. The hospitalization rate for bipolar disorders increased fourfold between the two time points (1997–2010), especially in the 10-14 and 15-17 age groups.

Researchers describe comorbid ADHD as “nearly universal” among youth with bipolar disorder, with ADHD and anxiety disorders viewed as common precursors of bipolar disorder. The trend toward increased diagnosis of both ADHD and bipolar disorder has prompted increased use by young people of both inpatient and outpatient mental health services as well as an exponential increase in the prescribing of medication. In office-based settings, where mental health care for young people has increased more rapidly than for adults, psychotropic medication prescriptions for younger patients are often provided by physicians with no psychiatric training.

For both ADHD and bipolar disorder, pharmacologic treatment relies heavily on powerful psychostimulants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Reporting on data collected in 2011–2012, researchers noted that a large proportion (44%) of very young children diagnosed with ADHD (2- to 5-year-olds) were taking medication, most commonly central nervous system stimulants. Nationally, a survey of children with special health care needs conducted in 2009–2010 found that 74% of ADHD-diagnosed children ages 4-17 had received medication in the past week.

Both the scientific community and mainstream media have raised questions about whether widespread administration of mind-altering psychostimulants to young children is safe or “meaningfully beneficial.” In 2016, a Washington Post reporter cited CDC findings when noting that “The long-term effects of those [ADHD] drugs on a young brain and body have not been well studied, and the side effects can be numerous, including poor appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and slowed growth.” Other risks of these freely prescribed drugs include the potential to actually worsen mania, foster addiction or lead to further medication. In the push for increased treatment, clinicians have largely ignored these risks.

In some states, special education funding policies create financial incentives to actively identify and medicate children with ADHD. In those states, children are “about 15 percent more likely to report having ADHD and…about 22 percent more likely to be taking medication for ADHD.” As a medical ethicist has commented, these patterns raise questions about the “muddier” aspects of psychiatric diagnosis and the variability “as regards who and what drive [diagnostic] practices.”

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders have also raised serious concerns—particularly about their potential to promote suicidality, aggression or other unwanted outcomes in children and adolescents. In 2016, the Nordic Cochrane Centre systematically reviewed clinical study reports from 70 trials of SSRIs and similar drugs and described substantial under-reporting of harms. Even with the under-reporting, the reviewed evidence linked the drugs to a doubling in the risk of suicidality and aggression in children and adolescents.

Why is this happening?

Researchers have floated many hypotheses about the underlying causes of the burgeoning youth mental health crisis. But while the mainstream media have been more than willing to give airtime to social explanations such as smartphone use and academic stress, the public has seen far less discussion of other plausible factors such as the gut-brain connection. For example, there is a complex interplay between the gut microbiome, the immune response and vaccination—and experimental evidence links vaccines and vaccine adjuvants to adverse mental health symptoms. There is also ample experimental evidence showing that gut microbiota disruptions caused by subchronic and chronic exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides can increase anxiety and depression-like behaviors at virtually any age. Moreover, research findings are suggestive of potential transgenerational effects of both vaccines and glyphosate. Rather than acquiesce to the perpetuation of hair-splitting mental health diagnoses—and the pharmaceutical “solutions” that always seem to follow close behind—it would seem wise to scrutinize these pervasive environmental threats while keeping in mind the age-old question of cui bono.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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