ANR Viewpoints / anemia

Short attention span, ladies?

Any parent, teacher, Girl Scout leader, athletic coach, or adult who works with children or teenagers would agree that the biggest challenge in managing a group is getting the kids’ full and undivided attention.  As a lacrosse coach, I have years of experience teaching skills to hundreds of girls on and off the field.  To get their attention, I use a variety of techniques - my last resort being an ear-piercing blow on my whistle. It never occurred to me that a nutritional deficiency could be causing my girls’ lack of focus, until now.

The November 2014 Singapore Medical Journal published results from a randomized control trial among 200 female students.  Divided randomly and equally into case and control groups, the case group was treated with 50 milligrams of ferrous sulfate twice a week for 16 weeks. Researchers compared both groups' data on attention and iron status and found that the case group’s attention scores improved by a whopping 90%!  How can a simple iron supplement impact girls’ attention span so drastically?

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