Does eating junk food make you feel tired and lazy?

Does eating junk food make you feel tired and lazy?

  • Including organic foods in your diet is key to reaching optimal health.
  • In the world of nutrition, there is a debate that has lasted for ages: Does eating junk food make you tired and lazy, or does being lazy make you eat junk food?
  • A psychology study from UCLA finally shows evidence that being overweight makes people tired and lazy, and not the other way around.
  • A team of scientists, led by Aaron Blaisdell from UCLA conducted an animal study on 32 female rats for six months. Each of the rats was put on one of two diets.
  • The first diet was relatively processed, with foods such as ground corn and fish meal.
  • The second diet included highly processed, low quality foods with significantly more sugar. This second diet represented a junk food heavy diet.
  • After just a period of 3 months, the team noticed a significant difference in the weight of the rats on the junk food diet and the ones on the unprocessed diet. The 16 rats that were on the junk food diet were noticeably fatter.
  • One diet led to obesity, the other didn’t,” said Blaisdell, a professor of psychology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science and a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute.
  • But the rats didn’t just get fatter – they became lazier too.
  • The next part of the study was to give the rats a task to do in which they were given a lever to press to receive a food or water reward. The rats that on the junk food diet did not perform well. They took longer breaks than the lean rats before returning to their task. In a 30-minute session, the overweight rats took breaks that were up to twice as long as the lean rats.
  • After six months, the overweight rats were converted to a healthy diet for nine days. However, this change did not improve the performance of the overweight rats in their task. “These findings suggest that a pattern of consuming junk food, not just the occasional binge, is responsible for obesity and cognitive impairments,” Blaisdell said. “There is no quick fix. Overweight people often get stigmatized as lazy and lacking discipline. We interpret our results as suggesting that the idea commonly portrayed in the media that people become fat because they are lazy is wrong. Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect, of laziness. Either the highly processed diet causes fatigue or the diet causes obesity, which causes fatigue,” Blaisdell added.
  • Blaisdell, who is 45, changed his diet 5 years ago to avoid processed foods, pasta, bread, grains, and added sugar. He now eats healthy foods like good meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits. “I’ve noticed a big improvement in my cognition,” he said. “I’m full of energy throughout the day, and my thoughts are clear and focused.”
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  • Note: The content on our website is for educational purposes only. Please consult your health practitioner or a qualified expert.
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