We all know sugary diets can sabotage a waistline. Now it turns out they might make brains flabby too.
Sweet drinks scrambled the memories and stunted learning in lab rats in a new study—leading to "thigh concern" over what sugary diets may do to people, according to neuroscientist Fernando Gomez-Pinilla. (Read more about memory from National Geographic magazine.)
For the study, Gomez-Pinilla's team first trained rats to successfully navigate a maze, giving them only water and standard rat chow for five days. During the following six weeks, the rats' water was replaced with syrups that were 15 percent fructose.
"Most sodas people consume are about 12 percent sugar, so imagine if you drank soda with sugar added instead of water," said Gomez-Pinilla, of the University of California, Los Angeles.