Episode 21:40 – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

On this episode of the Get Healthy Alabama podcast we (Dr. George Burroughs and BetyLou Pierce) discuss four changes in American culture over the past 50 years that have had a dramatically NEGATIVE impact on children’s health. 

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Episode 21:40 What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Do me a favor and take a look at the picture that accompanies this episode.

It’s a picture of my (Dr. George Burroughs) first grade class from approximately 50 years ago.

Notice how many students there are: 


Then notice how many teachers there are:


Yes, one teacher, Mrs. Manco, with 45 first graders (I’m the handsome kid standing right in front of her.)

Now, answer me this question:

What’s wrong with this picture?

The answer, of course, is NOTHING.

Nothing is wrong with this picture.

What’s WRONG is the health of today’s children.

Let me explain:

Having 45 students in a first grade class with just one teacher would be unheard of today.

Fifty years ago it was normal.

Today, those 45 students would be split up into two… possible three classes.

Here’s another thing:

If for some reason there WAS a class of 45 first graders today, there certainly would be a “teachers aide” assigned to help the teacher.

Not back then.

Nor were there any “special ed” classes or teachers.

Heck, we didn’t even have a school nurse… despite having nearly 700 students at the school.

And, with the exception of possibly one student who may have had asthma (I’m not sure), no one in my class required a daily medication of any kind.

To repeat: 45 kids in a first grade class with just one teacher… and we had NO problems.

On top of that we were extremely healthy, well behaved, and intelligent.

However, please don’t think I’m bragging on myself or my classmates.

I’m not.

You see, most classrooms were similar to this back then.

It’s true.

Fifty years ago it was common to see large classrooms filled with healthy kids all fully capable of learning.

Not today.

Today it would be considered criminal to fill a first grade classroom with 45 kids and only one teacher.


Because kids today aren’t nearly as healthy as they were fifty years ago and, for many of them, learning is a challenge.

For this reason nurses and special education services are a necessity in schools today.

To be clear, I am NOT bringing all of this up to belittle the students of today.

Instead, I'm bringing it up so that we can ask a very important question:


That is, what has happened in the past 50 years that has resulted in today’s children being less healthy and less able to be educated in a typical classroom setting?

On this episode we explore four specific changes in American culture have had a tremendous NEGATIVE impact on the physical and mental health of our society… especially our children.

More importantly, we explore what can be done to correct it.

Please give this a good listen and then share it with anyone you know that has kids… or cares about kids.



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