Impact Factor 3.648 | CiteScore 3.99
More on impact ›

Systematic Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01108

Examining Adolescence as a Sensitive Period for High-Fat, High-Sugar Diet Exposure: A Systematic Review of the Animal Literature

 Susan Murray1* and Eunice Y. Chen1
  • 1Temple University, United States

Animal studies suggest that poor nutrition (e.g., high-fat, high-sugar diets) may lead to impairments in cognitive functioning. Accumulating evidence suggests that the deleterious effects of these diets appear more pronounced in animals maintained on this diet early in life, consistent with the notion that the developing brain may be especially vulnerable to environmental insults. The current paper provides the first systematic review of studies comparing the effects of high-fat, high-sugar diet exposure during adolescence and adulthood on memory performance. The majority of studies (7/8) identified here report diet-induced memory problems when diet exposure occurred in adolescence. In contrast, such effects were not observed when diet exposure took place in adulthood. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that adolescence is a sensitive period during which palatable diets may contribute to negative neurocognitive effects. The current review explores putative mechanisms involved in diet-induced cognitive function and highlights promising areas for further research.

Keywords: fat, sugar, Memory, adolesence, Hippocampus

Received: 11 Jun 2019; Accepted: 01 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Murray and Chen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Susan Murray, Temple University, Philadelphia, 19122, Pennsylvania, United States, smurray1210@gmail.com