By Thierry Malleret, Economist
By Thierry Malleret, Economist

Scientific evidence that the Western diet high in saturated fats and sugars affects not only the body, but the brain as well, is mounting. Different studies prove the existence of a feedback loop between “bad” diet (i.e. high in saturated fats and sugar) and brain changes, showing for example that obese children don’t perform as well as non-obese children on memory tasks.

A number of recent studies suggest that a bad diet has a negative effect on brain functions and cognitive capabilities; and that obesity causes inflammation affecting the brain and degrading memory.

The growing interest in medical and psychological research on obesity and the brain mean that government campaigns against obesity will strengthen. The young are particularly concerned, as the correlation between obesity and performance in school is now established beyond reasonable doubt.

2 thoughts on “A Bad Diet Hurts Thinking and Memory ”

  1. Here are a few! The numbers are PubMed ID (PMID) numbers. To read the abstract/article, go to and put the PMID number into the search field. The evidence that a whole-food, plant-based diet prevents (and in some cases, reverses) disease is indisputable. Stephen Harlin, MD (

    27886704 – Position of Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics
    27476051 (Canadian review…)
    26364043 (WFPB diet for Parkinson’s)
    26065092 Quercetin a countermeasure to Exercise-Induced Physiological Stress
    26051510 (Cancer prevention – recommendation of World Cancer Research and American Institute for Cancer Research)
    28399076 (**** 10-Day Intensive Health Promotion Program …improved a lot of stuff)
    28140320 WFPB diet Environmentally sustainable
    27504959 WFPB diet Environmentally sustainable (France)
    28130879 Vegans have high phytosterols
    28111625 The Flexitarian diet
    28040519 n=267,180 – no mortality benefit a/w vegan
    28027691 – DASH, MeD, WFPB improve hsCRP and lipids
    27960648 Review of Diet-Gut microbial composition
    27880062 – Lower iron stores in vegans …but that’s good.
    27871943 – Attitudes and beliefs a/w vegan diets.
    27854281 – Vegetarian endurance athletes CRF greater
    27119062 – Compare VegD/vegan to nonVegD runners
    27792174 – VegD
    27821191 – Med reduces apoB, a more accurate marker of the risk of CVD and type 2 diabetes than LDL-cholesterol.
    28062141 – VegD reduces arterial stiffness (CARVOS Study)
    27812084 – VegD prevent dysbiosis; SAD cause dysbiosis
    27591107 – VegD cardioprotective
    27708845 –
    27649232 – Health education + Intensive Nutritional intervention
    27542762 – Veganism as a lifestyle and attitude
    27512965 – VegD reduces HTN
    27496081 – VegD men have better CVD biomarkers
    27473726 – WFPB less cancer
    27461582 – VegD less pancreatic cancer
    27456104 – Secondary CVD prevention
    27400178 – WFPB diet – a physician’s guide (GREAT)
    25369927 – “With the exception of vitamin D, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and extended iron requirements in pregnancy for vegetarians, the meal plans meet key requirements with respect to energy; protein; carbohydrate; total fat; saturated, poly- and monounsaturated fats; α-linolenic acid; fibre; iron; zinc; calcium; folate; and vitamins A, C, E and B₁₂.”
    16441942 – Health effects of VegD and vegan diets – old.
    26164391 – VegD diets lose more weight.
    27155957 – VegD less obesity
    27261272 – VegD and microbiota.
    27253526 – Better glycemic control …dec risk of T2DM
    27145958 – Comparing MedD to VegD (CARDIVEG Study)
    25149402 – VegD and 7th Day Adventists …CV mortality study (n = 183,321)
    27152300 – 12-week VegD …reduced teachers’ stress levels
    27120213 – Optimal nutrition = PB diet.
    25244368 – PB diet upregulates Nrf2 !!!!! (KEY ARTICLE)
    27845713 – Riboflavin/MTHFR …on HTN !!!
    27114827 – for Reynolds Risk Score
    27707805 – MedD and MUFAs vs TERC …MedD improves inflammatory profile

    27916823 - Must supplement with B12
    27723058 - Must supplement with B12
    27101764 - Must supplement with B12 and Iodine
    26927168 - Must supplement with B12
    25990817 - must supplement with Selenium
    28417511 - Algal oil supplementation improves omega-3 indices
    27717930 - Algal oil supplement
    27697540 - Fixed VegD blend harmful …need diversity
    28293225 - vegan diet cytotoxic microbiota

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