New Study Shows Fast-food Slows Kids Brain

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( — December 29, 2014)  — A new study published this month in the Clinical Pediatrics Journal, reveals a connection between poor academic results and eating fast food. The research was conducted among 8,500 young Americans learning about their habits eating at McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and KFC and analyzing their academic results.

The results of the study shows children who eats fast food at age of 10, express poorer results three years later in 8th grade than the kids that eat healthy food.

“Research has been focused on how children’s food consumption contributes to the child obesity epidemic. Our findings provide evidence that eating fast food is linked to another problem: poorer academic outcomes,” said leading author Kelly Purtell from Ohio State University.

The study, which includes numerous potentially confusing variables, including socioeconomic indicators, such as family income and place of living, as well as physical activity and TV watching, suggests two theories, which explain the impact of fast food on learning processes.

According to one theory, the lack of a specific nutrient, Iron, slows down certain processes in the brain. Another theory holds it is amount of sugar and fat that are linked with degradation in academic achievements and decreased attention.

The test results in reading and math showed average score among the daily fast-food eaters, unlike those who never ate fast food who received above average scores.

The researchers are proposing pricing and taxes as “potential mechanisms for reducing fast-food consumption,” however; another research shows fast food advertisers target children from black, rural, middle and low income communities.

Between 2010 and 2012, researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago examined 6,716 fast-food restaurants across the country to analyze the use of free toys, kids’ play areas, posters featuring cartoon characters inside and outside restaurants, called CDM (child-directed marketing).

The 2009 study showed fast food restaurants spent more than $700 million to market their products to children and adolescents concluding, “Majority black communities, rural areas, and middle-income communities are disproportionately exposed.”