Junk Food Makes You Lazy, Not Just Fat


Photo Courtesy of craigbailey.net

A new study shows that unhealthy foods, such as cheeseburgers and fries, can not only make you unhealthy, but can also make you lose your motivation according to CBS News.


In a study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, researchers at UCLA had 32 rats split into two groups. One group was fed unprocessed healthy meals of ground corn and fish, while the rest were fed highly processed sugary foods as a replacement for junk food according to globalnews.ca.


The two diets had about the same amount of fat, protein and total carbohydrates. But two months into the experiment the rats eating the unhealthy diet were starting to look noticeably larger than the other rats. After six month, the rats were moved to a new environment and were taught to do tasks such as pull a lever to get a teaspoon of sugar water the LA Times reported.


Eventually, the rats got tired of the task and the group on the junk food diet was taking longer breaks than their leaner counterparts. In a 30-minute session, the heavier rats’ breaks were nearly twice as long according to globalnews.ca


The researchers then switched the diets for both groups of the rats, giving the fat rats a healthy diet and the lean rats an unhealthy diet. After nine days, the healthy rats had no difference and didn’t become fatter and were still motivated. Likewise, the unhealthy rats didn’t lose weight and didn’t improve in performing tasks according to wtsp.com.


Aaron Blaisdell, a professor of the psychology at UCLA’s Brain Research Institute and lead researcher, says the weight and behavioral differences may indicate that junk food chemically changes the brain reported CBS News.