Study Warns of Fast Food Impact on Teenage Brains

A recent study has revealed that teenagers following a diet rich in fast food may be causing “long-term damage to their brains.”

The study suggests that individuals consuming sugary diets damage their memories, with these effects becoming apparent during adolescence.

The study relies on previous evidence linking poor nutrition to Alzheimer’s disease.

People with Alzheimer’s tend to have lower levels of a brain signalling molecule called “acetylcholine,” essential for memory, learning, attention, arousal, and involuntary muscle movement.

To determine if a high-fat diet could cause similar harm in young people while their brains are still developing, the study team tracked levels of “acetylcholine” in mice, which followed different dietary regimes, subjecting them to memory tests. The memory test used with the mice allows them to explore a new area, and then return days later with a new object added to the area.

Lead author of the study, Dr Anna Hayes from the University of Southern California, said, “Acetylcholine signals in mice are a mechanism to help them encode and remember those events, similar to ‘episodic memory’ in humans, allowing us to remember events from our past.”

Earlier this year, a major study revealed that highly processed foods, such as fast food, ready meals, breakfast cereals, protein bars, and fizzy drinks, are directly linked to 32 adverse health effects, including deteriorating mental health and increasing the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Al Jundi

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