New research suggests unhealthy food choices leads to weakened brain performance

CNN reports in “The Chart” blog that “new research presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference suggests that what you eat can even alter your brain – and vice versa.”

Timothy Verstynen and other researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the brain activity of 29 adults. In the study, the participants were shown words in various colors. They were then asked to identify the color – not the word.

The blog notes that the “overweight and obese participants’ brains showed more activity during difficult questions, suggesting they were working harder to get the same answers.”

According to the article, “Verstynen said the results imply that obese people are less efficient at making complex decisions, which could be important for controlling impulse behavior.” The researchers theorized that poor nutrion can result in disrupted brain connections that cause weakened brain performance, which can result in making more unhealthy decisions.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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