How many cans of soda do you drink in a week? Or better yet: how much soda do you drink at restaurants? Or how many times have you added some red flavored Faygo to your Subway fresh meal just to balance you out? Trust me, carbonated deliciousness is so common it’s hard to keep track. I honestly can’t remember how much soda I drink, and you probably cannot either. And do you know why?
According to a recent study at UCLA drinking too much soda destroys your memory. Maybe that’s how Tyrese forgot that he had a career.
The study by professor Professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla at UCLA, shows that heavy doses of High Fructose Corn Syrup, a basic ingredient in just about any soda, leads to memory loss, slower brain function and pretty much overall stupidity. How did the good scientists figure this out? Using rat brains of course, which are shockingly similar to humans. One group of test rats was given a high dosage of HFCS only while the other group was given HFCS with a counter balance of Omega-3 fatty acids (often from nuts or salmon) all the while being tested through a simple maze with one exit. Six weeks later the rats were brought back to the maze to test their recall and the results were pretty stark. The rats on the Omega-3 diet ran through the test so fast the scientists thought they were recreating the Secret of Nihm. On the other hand, according to the report, the soda-jerk rats didn’t fare so well:
The DHA[Fatty acid]-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.
Now we humans are much smarter than rats, and clearly we make better dietary choices than rotten cheese and leftover table scraps, right? Taco Bell says “No comment”
Nevertheless, the results of the study show that high consumption of high fructose, especially without a counter balance of fatty acids can have serious health consequences. This is an especially big issue for African Americans, who by and large out-drink any other ethnic group in this country when it comes to soft drinks, sugary drinks and just about anything else colored in a way that you would almost never find in nature:
This problem is made even worse by the fact that most marketing and nutritional research shows that African Americans are more targeted by sugary sweet drinks like soda and carbonated teas than any other group in the country.
It is one thing to go the whole Michelle Obama route and point out to the county, and the Black community in general, that we need to exercise more and eat healthier. Obesity is a big problem in the United States and the Black community specifically.
But, now we’ve got another reason to get a bit healthier with our dietary choices that goes beyond fitting into a new pair of apple-bottom jeans and not breaking a sweat walking to the mailbox. All of that soda swilling is making us stupid and costing us memory as well. Trust, me, I love grape soda as much as the next person, but is fake grape sugary goodness really worth forgetting why you drove all the way over to KFC to begin with? I don’t think so.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.