Breaking News
More () »

Health Matters: Exploring the links between junk food, the pandemic and dementia

It's no secret that loading up on cheeseburgers, chips and cookies can cause a number of health issues. A study shows junk food might also be linked to dementia.

HOUSTON — The relationship isn't completely clear, but research shows that high blood pressure and cholesterol puts you at a higher risk for stroke. Since your diet increases those risk factors, that in turn could increase your chances of developing at least one form of dementia.

"10% of people who have one stroke do suffer some memory loss and by their second stroke the percentage goes up to 33%," said Dr. Faith Atai, a UT Physicians Geriatrician.

RELATED: More Health Matters reports from UT Health

But a poor diet isn't the only aspect that can put you at risk for dementia. According to Dr. Atai, the pandemic also took a toll on those who were already suffering from dementia.

"Their dementia progressed exponentially during the shutdown largely because of the lack of stimulation that comes from socialization," she said.

She urges her patients to remain active and to continue doing as much for themselves as possible. Dr. Atai has had patients as young as their early 50s start showing signs of dement, but activities like chores can help lower the risk.

"Very few skills in life, if you leave them for a very long period of time, you will have to relearn them again no matter how simple they may look," said Atai.

Kimberly Davis on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Before You Leave, Check This Out