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|Title:||The impact of junk foods on the adolescent brain|
|Citation:||Birth Defects Research, 2017; 109(20):1649-1658|
|Amy C. Reichelt, Michelle M. Rank|
|Abstract:||Adolescence is a significant period of physical, social, and emotional development, and is characterized by prominent neurobiological changes in the brain. The maturational processes that occur in brain regions responsible for cognitive control and reward seeking may underpin excessive consumption of palatable high fat and high sugar "junk" foods during adolescence. Recent studies have highlighted the negative impact of these foods on brain function, resulting in cognitive impairments and altered reward processing. The increased neuroplasticity during adolescence may render the brain vulnerable to the negative effects of these foods on cognition and behavior. In this review, we describe the mechanisms by which junk food diets influence neurodevelopment during adolescence. Diet can lead to alterations in dopamine-mediated reward signaling, and inhibitory neurotransmission controlled by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), two major neurotransmitter systems that are under construction across adolescence. We propose that poor dietary choices may derail the normal adolescent maturation process and influence neurodevelopmental trajectories, which can predispose individuals to dysregulated eating and impulsive behaviors.|
|Keywords:||Adolescence; dopamine; cognitive control; obesity; prefrontal cortex|
|Rights:||© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc|
|Appears in Collections:||Medicine publications|
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