Eating junk food doesn’t just make you fat — it also makes you stupid. Researchers from Australia came to this conclusion after evaluating the dietary habits of young teenagers as part of a large study, determining that those who consume a high amount of soft drinks, fried foods and other processed garbage perform worse mentally.
The University of Western Australia study looked at more than 600 kids who participated in the larger Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Each of the participants, age 14 at the time, was asked to fill out a questionnaire about food frequency. Three years later, he or she was given a series of cognitive tasks to perform that evaluated performance compared to all the other children.
It was observed that children with higher consumption of takeout foods, processed meats, soft drinks and other refined and sugar-laden fare had decreased psychomotor function, impaired reaction time and problems focusing visually. Junk food eaters also had trouble learning and remembering things compared to those who ate more fruits and leafy green vegetables.