Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eating lots of junk food for just one WEEK can damage your memory permanently

If you are a rat

Everyone knows that junk food is bad for the waistline, but new research suggests it can damage memory, too.

Australian researchers found that even a short term diet of junk food can have a detrimental effect on the brain’s cognitive ability.

The study suggests that obesity can trigger rapid changes in the brain.

Scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) showed for the first time that rats fed a diet high in fat and sugar had impaired memory after just a week.

Interestingly, the results were similarly poor for the rats fed a healthy diet that had been given sugar water to drink, according to the study, which was published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.

The animals found it more difficult to recognise specific places after their junk food diet and showed a lesser ability to notice when an object shifted to a new location.

The mice also had inflammation of the hippocampal region of the brain, which is associated with spatial memory.

‘We know that obesity causes inflammation in the body, but we didn't realise until recently that it also causes changes in the brain,’ said Professor Margaret Morris from UNSW Medicine, who co-authored the study.

‘What is so surprising about this research is the speed with which the deterioration of the cognition occurred,’ she said.

‘Our preliminary data also suggests that the damage is not reversed when the rats are switched back to a healthy diet, which is very concerning.’

Some aspects of the animals' memories were spared, regardless of their diets.

All the animals were equally able to recognise objects after eating either the healthy, healthy with sugar or ‘cafeteria’ diets, the latter of which was high in fat and sugar, including cake, chips and biscuits.

The change in the animals' memory appeared even before the mice eating junk food gained any weight.

‘We suspect that these findings may be relevant to people,’ said  Professor Morris.


Poll: Americans want the government to stop banning everything they like 

Americans want the government to stop acting like their mother.   According to a Reason-Rupe poll, Americans do not want government to ban trans-fats, e-cigarettes, online poker, violent video games or genetic testing kits.

Many Americans are becoming frustrated with the government’s growing involvement in what they believe should be their personal decisions.

For one, they do not want the government to be their personal nutritionist. The poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed trans-fats ban. Only 24 percent of Americans would support measures to outlaw the additive.

The FDA also mandated that the genetic testing company 23andMe halt production of its DNA testing kits. The agency says the company has not gone through the testing required by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938.

A 55 percent majority believes that the government should not be allowed to bar them from purchasing the kit. Thirty seven percent told Reason-Rupe that they want this ban to remain in place.

A large majority, 76 percent, said that the government should not be able to prohibit the sale of beverages with large amounts of caffeine. Twenty one percent think the government has the authority to ban the drinks.

Debates across the country have erupted over whether or not electronic cigarettes should be permitted in public places and seven cities have moved to ban the devices. However, 66 percent of those polled think people deserve legal rights to smoke e-cigarettes freely in public locations. Thirty-four percent are against the open use of the devices.

And Americans don’t want the government to act as a video game police. Sixty-six percent told Reason-Rupe that the government should not be able to decide whether they play games like Mario Cart or the gory zombie video game Left for Dead. Some 31 percent want violent video games banned.


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