Excess of junk food not only takes a toll on your waistline but harms your brain cells as well. According to a study called ‘Brain, Behaviour and Immunity’ conducted by the University of NSW, eating a diet loaded with high sugar content and saturated fats have an immediate effect on the brain’s ability to remember things. Margaret Morris, the head of pharmacology at the University of NSW says that they knew obesity causes inflammation in the body but they didn’t realized until recently that it also causes changes in the brain.
The study examined the way junk food affects the brain’s abilities to function in rats. It was observed that exposure to junk food for only six days reduced spatial recognition and the ability to detect that an object has been displaced to a new location. Professor Morris said that the speed at which this memory loss occurred was extremely alarming. It was also observed that spatial memory loss occurred much before any weight gain.
“After consuming a high sugar and fat diet for one week, we found that the hippocampus, the brain structure which is critical for learning and memory, had increased inflammation”, added Professor Morris. The study also suggests that the damage is irreversible. When the rats were switched back to a healthy diet, the structure didn’t changed back to its original condition. In humans, spatial memory is crucial in order to recall where you’ve kept your everyday items like keys, wallet, iPod, etc. Professor Morris said that it’s difficult to imply the result on human brain but it definitely proves that junk food could affect human memory.