Study: Fast food can lead to irreversible dementia

Study: Fast food can lead to irreversible dementia

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How fast food affects our brain's health

The average person ingests much more calories these days than was the case 50 years ago. The amount of additional calories consumed corresponds to a daily fast food burger. This has devastating consequences for our brain and our weight.

The Australian National University research found that the combination of eating fast food and under-exercising causes our brain's health to deteriorate much earlier than previously thought. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology".

People often eat too unhealthy

People cause their brain function to deteriorate due to their unhealthy diet and little to no exercise, explains study author Professor Nicolas Cherbuin from the ANU Center for Research on Aging, Health and Wellbeing. "We have found strong evidence that, due to their unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise, people have a serious long-term risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a significant decrease in brain function such as dementia and brain shrinkage," reports the expert in a press release from the Australian National University.

30 percent of adults have massive weight problems

About 30 percent of the world's adult population are either overweight or obese. By 2030, more than ten percent of all adults will suffer from type 2 diabetes, various studies predict. "The relationship between type 2 diabetes and the rapid deterioration in brain function is already well understood," adds Professor Cherbuin. However, current research shows that so-called neurodegeneration or the loss of neuron function begins much earlier than previously thought. In addition, a clear connection between this deterioration of the brain and unhealthy lifestyle was found. The damage is virtually irreversible once a person reaches middle age. The researchers are therefore calling on everyone to eat a healthy diet as early as possible and to ensure adequate exercise and physical activity. It is best to start as early as childhood, but it is not too late even in early adulthood.

Fast food nutrition leads to health problems

A normal fast food menu consisting of burgers, fries and a soft drink contains around 650 kilocalories. This corresponds to about a quarter of the recommended daily nutritional energy requirement for men and almost a third of the daily nutritional energy requirement for women. People who eat a lot of the wrong kind of food (especially fast food) usually eat too many calories. If nothing changes in attitudes to fast food and people's diets, there will be an increasing number of overweight and obese people suffering from serious illnesses.

Don't start doing something for your brain health until you're 60

The research showed that advice on reducing the risk of brain problems, including the risk of dementia, is most often addressed to people over the age of 60. At this point it is actually far too late. "Many people with dementia and other signs of cognitive dysfunction, including shrinking brains, have increased their risk throughout their lives by eating too much unhealthy food and not exercising enough," the authors report in the press release. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of avoidable brain problems is to eat healthy and exercise from an early age. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


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