We have posted here before about how sugar affects the brain, and a new study has found that eating sugar may harm the teen brain. Of course, the study was conducted in teen rats, not humans, but the findings are interesting and definitely merit more research.
The researchers offered the rats simple sugars and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and found that their brains became inflamed, which caused memory problems for the rats. On spatial navigation tests (such as running a maze) the rats who consumed added sugars did worse than the rats on a less sugary diet. HFCS intake seemed to have a stronger effect on memory and brain inflammation than simple sugar.
The sugar intake also made more of the rats prone to diabetes.
A recent survey found that around 2/3 of teens drink a sugary beverage, like soda or Gatorade, every day. That number has actually come down from the 1990s and early 200s, when 3/4 of teens reported drinking a sugary beverage at least once a day. Among other things, soda and sugary drinks have been linked to high rates of obesity, diabetes, bone loss, and many other health problems.