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Brain diabetes: the ultimate food scare

September 9, 2012

Big trouble lies ahead if Alzheimer’s is proven to be a form of diabetes.

THE human brain evolved to seek out foods high in fat and sugar. But a preference that started out as a survival mechanism has, in our age of plenty, become a self-destructive compulsion.

It is well known that bad diets can trigger obesity and diabetes. There is growing evidence that they trigger Alzheimer’s disease too, and some researchers now see it as just another form of diabetes (see “Food for thought: Eat your way to dementia”).

If correct, this has enormous, and grave, implications. The world already faces an epidemic of diabetes. The prospect of a parallel epidemic of Alzheimer’s is truly frightening, in terms of human suffering and monetary cost.

This outcome will not be easily averted. Few people need to be told that too much high-fat, high-sugar food is a health hazard. And yet sales of fast food remain healthy (or should that be hefty?). Part of the reason is “future discounting”, another evolved feature of the human brain that makes us value short-term rewards over long-term risks.

Excerpt from an article written at New Scientist. Continue HERE

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