Eating Ultra-Processed Foods May Up Dementia Risk: Study

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Brain News

Researchers at the American Academy of Neurology studied how consuming ultra-processed foods may increase the risk of dementia. The study is published in the journal Neurology.

The Study

The research team surveyed 72,083 participants from a UK Biobank. The participants were about 55 years of age and did not have dementia at the beginning of the 10-year study.

During the study, the participants filled out questionnaires about what they ate and drank the previous day. The researchers created a daily diet chart for each participant, comparing by grams the ultra-processed foods consumed.

Based on the information, the participants were sorted into four equal groups—from the lowest percentage consumption of ultra-processed foods to the highest percentage consumption of the same. Factors related to dementia risk like age, gender, family history of dementia, heart disease, etc. were also taken into consideration.

The researchers also studied how consuming unprocessed or minimally processed foods was associated with lower dementia risk.

The Findings

The results revealed that people who consumed larger quantities of ultra-processed foods (like soft drinks, salty and sugary snacks, ice cream, sausages, deep-fried chicken, yogurt, etc.) were at a higher risk of dementia.

It was also found that substituting ultra-processed foods with unprocessed or minimally processed foods (like milk, fruits, vegetables, etc.) lowered the risk of dementia by 19%.

One of the lead researchers, Dr. Huiping Li, elaborated: “It’s encouraging to know that small and manageable changes in diet may make a difference in a person’s risk of dementia.

To Know More You May Refer To

Li, H., Li, S., Yang, H., Zhang, Y., Zhang, S., Ma, Y., Hou, Y., Zhang, X., Niu, K., Borne, Y., & Wang, Y. (2022). Association of Ultraprocessed Food Consumption With Risk of Dementia: A Prospective Cohort. Neurology, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200871. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000200871

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