Adolescents are at an increased risk of suffering negative health effects from sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, reveals a new study on rats.
According to the study by researchers at USC, adolescent rats that freely consumed large quantities of liquid solutions containing sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in concentrations comparable to popular sugar-sweetened beverages experienced memory problems and brain inflammation, and became pre-diabetic.
Scott Kanoski, corresponding author of the study and an assistant professor at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, said that the brain is especially vulnerable to dietary influences during critical periods of development, like adolescence. Consuming a diet high in added sugars not only can lead to weight gain and metabolic disturbances, but can also negatively impact our neural functioning and cognitive ability.
The study was published online in the journal Hippocampus.