Psychology Colloquium: Dr Mike Kendig: Effects of diet on cognition in animal models and humans
Dr MIke Kendig (UTS)
Processed foods rich in fat, sugar and salt now form a substantial part of the modern diet of most countries around the world, including Australia. Studies in human and rodents indicate that in addition to negative effects on physical health, high-fat, high-sugar foods are associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. However, such foods are rarely eaten exclusively, and more commonly form part of diverse diets that vary over the short- and long-term. The cognitive effects of high-fat, high-sugar foods eaten under these conditions are less well understood. Here I will review our work on the effects of intermittent access to (a) 10% sucrose solution, and (b) a high-fat, high-sugar ‘cafeteria’ diet on cognition and behaviour in rats, and the relationship of cognitive effects to changes in gut microbiota composition. The results of a clinical trial of sugar drink reduction in young healthy adults will also be presented.