Tuesday, May 17, 2011

FDA Vote on Eliminating Red Food Dye

Part of eating better has included eliminating artificial dyes.  This has always been a very hard one for us.  From discussing with family that we need to read the ingredient list of foods to keeping our children from eating the normal snacks after the baseball games with all the other kids.  This is a very tough one.  

Eliminating dyes is made even harder when national organizations like the FDA side in favor of the food organizations (even just slightly).  The beginning of April the FDA debated whether these dyes may have some potential health hazards or cause behavioral changes.  They decided in a a very close vote that they didn't.  

Below are some great resources that I have found while looking into their decision.

While looking doing the research I also found a great blog with a lot of resources.  I am really looking forward to perusing the whole website some night when I get a chance :)

Now if I could only figure out how to talk with our extended family, grandparents and aunts and uncles about the additives in the food.  It is hard for us as parents to tell the kids "No, you can't have the Kool-Aid with your cousin" or "No, don't eat those twizllers".  As hard as it is for us, I am sure that it is awful for the kids to have to want those so badly when we are around others who appear to be enjoying them so much.  With all the sugar and additives to make them look and taste delicious who wouldn't want to have one...

It's all about the education.  We have not been able to make it for a whole week without some type of processed food being eaten.  Maybe after we are able to go one week without we will see difference and that will be reason or proof for others - I hope I can say we have done it soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Autism Research - One New Study

Research studies have always been interesting to me.  I have read article summaries, bibliographies, and abstracts for over 10 years now.  I am always cautious to make sure that it is reliable research.

I look at the number of study participants, is it a very low number, did they do a random sampling, or was it a general wide sampling.  I read the method of the research to find out the process and try to interpret if I think that someone else could duplicate what was done.  I will read their sources; everyone does a tone of investigating and research on research before they begin their own study.  Who did they model after?  What else has been done in this area?

I think that I have become better and better at evaluating for okay research studies and then the ones that appear not as good.  Not determining good research from bad, but more of an eye for better or not so great validity.  A little bit of undergrad research does not qualify me as an expert…

I ran across research today about Autism and diagnosing issues.  This is a topic that is near to our heart, as we continue to struggle with our littlest guy.

This research was done in Korea.  The researchers “used a more comprehensive, population-based approach that looked for autism among all children, including those in mainstream schools who had never been identified as having problems.”  They saw a more than double increase in the number of children with Autism or places on the Autism Spectrum.  I find this very interesting.  This study is not suggesting that the numbers of autism are increasing, but rather that the many of these children are not being diagnosed.  Something I have been talking about for years!

A very interesting point that brought up by an American physician…  Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, said that "one of the striking findings is that there were significant number of children who seem reliably identified as having an autism spectrum disorder who were in general education population and who were not previously identified as having any problem and who were receiving no services."

How scary to think about the poor children, and parents, who continue to struggle with these children.  I imagine them being told, as I have heard, “you need to discipline better” or ‘be more consistent in your parenting methods”, “your child is really out of control, can’t you teach him better”, & one of my favorites “why is your child so strange?”.

When will someone get the message about better diagnosing techniques and help and guidance for parents of children with borderline autism or autistic symptoms?  When will someone listen to parents?  Just my thoughts for the day.