Can Eating Junk Food Change Your Behavior?


A recent study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, implies a junk food diet can change a rat’s behavior, and perhaps that of a human. In addition to gaining weight, researchers observed that rats make different choices on which food to eat and how much to consume after eating unhealthy food.

Like most animals, rats raised on healthy eating habits are more inclined not to overeat or overindulge, which promotes a more balanced diet. However, after two weeks of a diet filled with cookies, cake, and other “cafeteria food,” researchers found that the rats’ natural behaviors dramatically changed. The study suggests the junk food diet altered the part of the brain responsible for making decisions. This change to their brain’s food reward signals caused the rats to stop seeking a balanced diet. The biological change had lasting effects, according to the researchers, even after the rats went back to a healthy better diet.

Based on their findings, scientists believe this phenomenon could explain why it’s hard for humans to stop overeating and go back to eating healthier meals after consuming junk food. In addition to causing a change in eating behaviors, a consistent overindulgence in junk food can also lead to tooth decay, cavities, and a variety of other dental issues, all of which makes consuming a more balanced, nutritional diet that much more important.

For more information about the effects junk food can have on your oral and overall health, please contact Austin Dental Spa today.