I must say that I was a bit disappointed to read a press release this morning about a new dietary supplement to help college students manage procrastination. I cannot blame Genius Labs, LLC. for trying to make a buck, and they probably have a market, but it is disappointing that they can spell out that a healthier diet generally equals a higher GPA, yet many will see their supplement as the answer rather than improving diet.
I did find it interesting that they linked poor diet, along with the tendency for up to 95% of college students to procrastinate tasks, to the statistic of one in every four college students illegally using ADHD medications like Adderall. We know that a healthier diet for ADHD can help those diagnosed, why do we just accept that college students, in general, won’t eat well?
Genius Labs, LLC. describes themselves as “a Baltimore-based privately held dietary supplement company that focuses on developing proprietary supplement blends that maximize brain health and performance. Founded by an MBA student searching for a natural mental edge; the firm targets college students that often cram to complete school work and study for tests.” Their new product Cram It! is a blend of omega-3 and various herbs, vitamins, and minerals with little caffeine that they claim “supports memory and the ability to analyze complex ideas.”
I have recently had more than one college student or parent of a college student contact my private practice to discuss symptoms of ADHD that the student is experiencing. When symptoms are noticed in a new environment, investigation needs to be done to determine if the environment is the problem or if the environment is revealing a problem that always existed but was able to be managed. Often the best answers are the easiest, which in this case, would likely be an improvement in diet and breaking down projects into small steps to avoid procrastination.
Unfortunately, I am guessing that many college students will be drawn into the promises of Cram It! that allows them to continue their current behavior, seemingly without consequence. It will be interesting to watch for side-effects, because Cram It! does not have an FDA approval, as such a thing is not required for dietary supplements, and there is not a listing of possible side-effects.
January 9th, 2012