How Junk Food Affects the Brain  


When we are watching movies, the ideal food is chips and fries. Somehow movies will not be the same if we eat real fruits like fruits and vegetables, right? No matter how tasty chips and fries are, we have to be aware that they belong to the other food bracket which does not serve any good in our bodies.


There is a reason why chips, fries, burgers and the same are called junk foods – they clutter the body and harm it in the long run. If we know this and still continue eating it, then there is no surprise if we discover our body is not at its optimum performance. Researchers have recently discovered that junk foods do not only affect bodily functions – it can also affect the brain.

According to a study commissioned by Oregon State University (OSU) researchers, high-sugar and high-fat diets have a damaging effect on our cognitive flexibility. For detailed discussions and results of the study, we can refer to the journal of Neuroscience which is now published. For some ideas of the study, tune in for more.


The research was performed with the use of laboratory mice. The researchers first indulged the mice in different diets with diverse levels of sugar and fat before allowing to perform gamut of tests (like puzzles and mazes). This is to monitor  the changes in the physical and mental functions of the mice. For this specific test, the researchers focused on the types of gut bacteria.

According to Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine of OSU, bacteria can discharge compounds that serve as neurotransmitters which in return can fuel sensory nerves (or even the immune system) that can disturb different biological functions. In four weeks, the mice’s physical and mental performances dropped significantly. The suspected reason for the dropped performances was gut bacteria.

That’s it. Fat and sugary treats contain gut bacteria that can diminish our physical and mental performances. So, if we like sudoko, crossword and other games, we have to be wary about junk foods and how it can affect the brain. We only have one body and one brain. Without the other, we will never be successful and we won’t live that long. We have to remember that we are what we eat and it helps to be healthy.

Here in Singapore, there are many junk foods available, the real challenge is how to overcome it and consider healthier options. Things are possible if we are determined enough. Let us share this to our friends, relatives and co-workers.

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