October 16, 2021 Trending New York News

The effects of ‘junk food’ on our memory

A research conducted on 20 young volunteers who for a week fed on fatty and high sugar foods highlighted the damage on the ability to remember and the development of a sort of addiction

Western lifestyle – and in particular nutrition – could damage our memory. To say a research published in the Royal Society Open Science and conducted by Macquarie University of Sydney on 20 volunteer boys who, after a week of meals rich in sugars and fats, reported a worsening in memory-focused tests, as well as the development of a sort of addiction to so-called “junk food”.

Warning: the problem could be more psychological than chemical. Richard Stevenson, professor of psychology, carried out the research and explained it to The Guardian : “After a week of Western diet, palatable foods like snacks and chocolate become more desirable even when you are full. This makes it harder to resist, leading you to eat more, which in turn generates more damage to the hippocampus and a vicious circle of overeating. “

In reality, this new study only confirms one of 2017 conducted on animals: junk food – it is scientifically proven. intervenes in a harmful and decisive way on the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the processes related to memory and appetite control.

Interestingly, these two characteristics, appetite and memory, are closely linked. In practice, the hippocampus when we are satisfied, somehow blocks the pleasant memories related to food, which thus appears to us less attractive, less desirable; if the hippocampus does not do its duty, then the memories related to flavors, smells, past culinary experiences assault us, so hunger returns even when our body does not need it.

To develop this upgrade, the scientists selected 110 lean and healthy students, aged between 20 and 23, who had an average good diet. Half of these guys were assigned to a group that continued with their normal diet, the other half went on for a week with a diet that included a generous intake of waffles and fast food.

The results are clear and, according to Stevenson, highly alarming: “Demonstrating that certain foods can lead to mild cognitive impairments that affect appetite and promote overeating in otherwise healthy young people should be a worrying discovery for everyone” .

Of course the problems with the hippotalamus are only the last chronologically detected in terms of diet, it has already been widely documented how our senseless diet contributes to the development of serious problems such as obesity and diabetes, which have both been linked to the drop in brain performance and the risk of developing dementia. Rachel Batterham, professor of obesity, diabetes and endocrinology at University College London, not involved in the study, commented: “Understanding the impact of a Western diet on brain function is an urgent matter.”

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