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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Fast Food May Cause Permanent Damage to Teenagers' Memory

Fast Food May Cause Permanent Damage to Teenagers' Memory

Teenagers indulging in fast food rich in fats and sugars might suffer from long-term brain damage, potentially leading to impaired memory, according to a recent study.
The study, reported by the American "New York Post," was conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California. It involved a group of mice divided into two groups: one was fed a diet high in fats and sugars typical of fast food, while the other consumed a healthy diet.

All the mice underwent a series of memory tests. Researchers also measured the levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine, which plays a crucial role in involuntary muscle movements, learning, memory, and attention. Lower levels of this neurotransmitter are found in individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

The findings indicated that mice fed a diet high in fats, similar to that of fast food, suffered from persistent memory impairments that "did not go away" over time. Moreover, switching to a healthy diet after getting used to consuming fast food did not erase the harmful effects of fats and sugars on the brain and memory.

Dr. Scott Kanoski, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the study, stated, "These findings demonstrate that the effects of consuming fast food could last forever, leading to permanent memory impairments in teenagers."

He emphasized the significance of these results, especially since adolescence is a critical period for brain development.

Earlier this year, a comprehensive study revealed that ultra-processed foods, such as fast food, ready meals, breakfast cereals, protein bars, and sugary drinks, are directly linked to 32 adverse health effects. These include deterioration of mental health and increased risks of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.

Notably, ultra-processed foods undergo multiple industrial processes and often contain colors, emulsifiers, flavors, and other additives. These products also tend to have high levels of added sugar, fat, or salt, while being low in vitamins and fibers.

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