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Poor children have smaller brains than wealthy children

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If there was ever a better reason to provide universal early childhood education free of charge to children, this would be it. Including a hot breakfast and lunch for children in schools across Canada would also help to reduce the academic achievement gap between poor and more-affluent children.

"Neuroscientists who studied the brain scans of nearly 1,100 children and young adults across the U.S. from ages 3 to 20 found that the surface area of the cerebral cortex was linked to family income. They discovered that the brains of children in families that earned less than $25,000 a year had surface areas six per cent smaller than those whose families earned $150,000 or more. The poor children also scored lower on average on a battery of cognitive tests."

All is not lost with these children as the article points out:

"In releasing their study, Noble and Sowell emphasized that the brain can grow and change. “That is a very critical point,” Noble said. “The brain is incredibly able to be molded by experience, especially in childhood.”academic achievement gap between poor and more-affluent children is growing."

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How is the American data and analysis applicable to Canada and Canadian childhood programs ? U.S. children already receive breakfast and lunch programs via state and federal funding.

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How is the American data and analysis applicable to Canada and Canadian childhood programs ? U.S. children already receive breakfast and lunch programs via state and federal funding.

Children are children, no matter where in the world they reside. We have poor children in Canada too. We also have hot breakfasts and lunches in some schools but certainly not in all schools across Canada, not to mention universal 'free' early child education.

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If there was ever a better reason to provide universal early childhood education free of charge to children

The studies on the effectiveness of such programs is mixed and they cannot possibly make up for a toxic home environment and/or uninvolved parents.

The most important question: what programs should be cut to pay for this new program? It is easy to say we should do something if we had infinite resources. We don't. We have to prioritize. So what goes?

Edited by TimG

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Children are children, no matter where in the world they reside. We have poor children in Canada too. We also have hot breakfasts and lunches in some schools but certainly not in all schools across Canada, not to mention universal 'free' early child education.

No...one cannot assume the data are applicable to all children in the world, as they live in very different cultures and environments.

Nutrition programs at many levels are already in place for poor U.S. children.

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If there was ever a better reason to provide universal early childhood education free of charge to children, this would be it. Including a hot breakfast and lunch for children in schools across Canada would also help to reduce the academic achievement gap between poor and more-affluent children.

"Neuroscientists who studied the brain scans of nearly 1,100 children and young adults across the U.S. from ages 3 to 20 found that the surface area of the cerebral cortex was linked to family income. They discovered that the brains of children in families that earned less than $25,000 a year had surface areas six per cent smaller than those whose families earned $150,000 or more. The poor children also scored lower on average on a battery of cognitive tests."

...

It should be noted here that studies have found that intelligence, and in particular the size of the cerebral cortex, the amount of grey matter, etc, are genetic traits and are highly heritable. Parents with bigger brains will tend to have children with bigger brains. While intelligence is not a perfect predictor of salary, the kind of people earning $150k+ are generally professionals of various types, while those earning less than $25k are... not.

I think the question has to be asked here... are the cerebral cortexes of children from poor families smaller because they are poor and receiving substandard education/nutrition, or are they smaller because, on average, their parents also have smaller cerebral cortexes, and the difference is primarily genetic in nature? While it is possible that it's the education/nutrition, I would suspect it is (at least mostly) the genetics. The article only briefly mentions this and then gets back to the standard politically correct narrative.

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It should be noted here that studies have found that intelligence, and in particular the size of the cerebral cortex, the amount of grey matter, etc, are genetic traits and are highly heritable. Parents with bigger brains will tend to have children with bigger brains. While intelligence is not a perfect predictor of salary, the kind of people earning $150k+ are generally professionals of various types, while those earning less than $25k are... not.

I think the question has to be asked here... are the cerebral cortexes of children from poor families smaller because they are poor and receiving substandard education/nutrition, or are they smaller because, on average, their parents also have smaller cerebral cortexes, and the difference is primarily genetic in nature? While it is possible that it's the education/nutrition, I would suspect it is (at least mostly) the genetics. The article only briefly mentions this and then gets back to the standard politically correct narrative.

Yes I think we should ask that question

... and answer it ...

by ensuring that every Canadian child has good nutrition.

We can afford it.

why-canada-needs-to-make-sure-kids-dont-go-to-school-hungry

Yet, Canada is the only G8 country without a national school-based feeding program, said Alison Howard, co-author of a new report entitled Enough For All: Household Food Insecurity in Canada. The report, published by the

Conference Board of Canada,

estimates that some two million people in this country suffer from food insecurity meaning nutritious food is sometimes or always unavailable or unaffordable to them.

Nearly half of those are school-aged children. Poor nutrition has an immediate impact on their physical well-being and has the potential to undermine their economic well-being for a lifetime.

Education is one of the most powerful determinants of health. Children cannot learn, they cannot thrive, if they are not well-nourished.

So why do we not feed kids at school? Why do we not ensure we fill their bodies with nutrition in the same way we strive to fill their minds with knowledge?

...

We already have most of the elements in place for school-based feeding, we just need a more organized, concerted effort instead of a patchwork of programs.

For nearly one million school-aged Canadian children "nutritious food is sometimes or always unavailable or unaffordable to them."

That's a simple question to answer.

Let's just do it.

.

Edited by jacee

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That's a simple question to answer.

Let's just do it.

A must harder question: despite whatever illusions you may have resources are not infinite. So what should be but to pay for this program?

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A must harder question: despite whatever illusions you may have resources are not infinite. So what should be but to pay for this program?

Think of the social, societal costs of not doing it.

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Think of the social, societal costs of not doing it.

Social costs of not doing something don't pay the bills. I asked: what programs should be cut to pay for this?

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They discovered that the brains of children in families that earned less than $25,000 a year had surface areas six per cent smaller than those whose families earned $150,000 or more. The poor children also scored lower on average on a battery of cognitive tests."

So, what about the kids of families that earned 50k, or 75? $150,00 seems like an arbitrary number, the median income in the USA is just over 50k, how small are their children's brains? Or are they just average size? Is it possible that smarter people have bigger brains and make more money as a result? All i know is, i grew up poor, like burning furniture for heat poor, working with parents in the summer to help the family survive poor, hungry poor, and im doing ok. My smaller brain doesn't seem to have held me or my measured intelligence back, damn it though, im so close to being classified as a genius, if only my brain wasn't 6%, hell, might be 8% (we was so poor, no really) smaller.

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It should be noted here that studies have found that intelligence, and in particular the size of the cerebral cortex, the amount of grey matter, etc, are genetic traits and are highly heritable. Parents with bigger brains will tend to have children with bigger brains. While intelligence is not a perfect predictor of salary, the kind of people earning $150k+ are generally professionals of various types, while those earning less than $25k are... not.

I think the question has to be asked here... are the cerebral cortexes of children from poor families smaller because they are poor and receiving substandard education/nutrition, or are they smaller because, on average, their parents also have smaller cerebral cortexes, and the difference is primarily genetic in nature? While it is possible that it's the education/nutrition, I would suspect it is (at least mostly) the genetics. The article only briefly mentions this and then gets back to the standard politically correct narrative.

Nope, people are all the same, and if the outcomes don't represent that it surely must be someones fault.

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If there was ever a better reason to provide universal early childhood education free of charge to children, this would be it.

You haven't linked ECE to bigger brains, only income to bigger brains.

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The most important factors in preventing poverty are a good education and a stable 2 parent family. Let's focus on that instead of Neanderthal brain size discussions.

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A lot of economic theories tend to break down in conditions of extreme poverty.

Good nutrition is very important for cognitive development. Comparing North Koreans with South Koreans demonstrates this.

Although I do question why stop at children. Perhaps we need a universal guaranteed income so that all individuals can afford good nutrition regardless of their economic circumstances.

While it is possible that it's the education/nutrition, I would suspect it is (at least mostly) the genetics.

I question whether it is mostly genetics. There are huge differences in cognitive performance between North Koreans and South Koreans, or between African-Americans and people currently living in West-Africa (I think the average IQ in Africa is ~70 where as the average IQ of African-Americans is ~85).

Edited by -1=e^ipi

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I question whether it is mostly genetics. There are huge differences in cognitive performance between North Koreans and South Koreans, or between African-Americans and people currently living in West-Africa (I think the average IQ in Africa is ~70 where as the average IQ of African-Americans is ~85).

While that makes complete sense for North Korea and West Africa, I doubt that (many) children in the US, of families making less than $25,000, are suffering chronic malnutrition that stunts their brain development. While this might happen in very rare instances, I doubt there are enough cases to noticeably affect the average. The US is not a third world country, and "poverty" in the US means having reduced access to luxuries, reduced long-term financial security, and reliance on government programs... but not starvation. That being said, if there really are cases of starving children in America or Canada, that should obviously be addressed, as the resources to do so are clearly readily available.

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A must harder question: despite whatever illusions you may have resources are not infinite. So what should be but to pay for this program?

Corporate welfare.

.

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It's a good idea, maybe something that a PAC club or something can arrange. Teachers won't do it, so it has to a volunteer group.

PAC?

.

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The most important factors in preventing poverty are a good education and a stable 2 parent family. Let's focus on that instead of Neanderthal brain size discussions.

Let's focus on making sure that every Canadian child is properly nourished.

.

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A lot of economic theories tend to break down in conditions of extreme poverty.

Good nutrition is very important for cognitive development. Comparing North Koreans with South Koreans demonstrates this.

Although I do question why stop at children. Perhaps we need a universal guaranteed income so that all individuals can afford good nutrition regardless of their economic circumstances.

I question whether it is mostly genetics. There are huge differences in cognitive performance between North Koreans and South Koreans, or between African-Americans and people currently living in West-Africa (I think the average IQ in Africa is ~70 where as the average IQ of African-Americans is ~85).

Are you citing that Rushton racist crap?

Were the IQ tests in English? :lol:

.

Edited by jacee

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While that makes complete sense for North Korea and West Africa, I doubt that (many) children in the US, of families making less than $25,000, are suffering chronic malnutrition that stunts their brain development. While this might happen in very rare instances, I doubt there are enough cases to noticeably affect the average. The US is not a third world country, and "poverty" in the US means having reduced access to luxuries, reduced long-term financial security, and reliance on government programs... but not starvation. That being said, if there really are cases of starving children in America or Canada, that should obviously be addressed, as the resources to do so are clearly readily available.

Malnourishment is very much a factor in North America, and does have long term consequences in inattentiveness, cognitive and behavioural difficulties.

.

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Are you citing that Rushton racist crap?

Were the IQ tests in English? :lol:

I'm sorry for suggesting that observed cognitive differences are more due to nutrition than genetics. Would you prefer I change my view?

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I'm sorry for suggesting that observed cognitive differences are more due to nutrition than genetics. Would you prefer I change my view?

The 'observed cognitive differences' are a steaming pile of racist crapola.

You just lost all credibility.

.

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The 'observed cognitive differences' are a steaming pile of racist crapola.

You just lost all credibility.

So are you saying that West-Africans don't on average have lower cognitive performance than African-Americans, or that North Koreans don't have on average lower cognitive performance than South Koreans?

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