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Diet of Fast Food and Candy May Cause Alzheimer's

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-are-what-you-eat dept.

Medicine 224

lurking_giant sends along a Reuters report on research out of Sweden indicating that a diet rich in fat, sugar, and cholesterol could increase the risk of Alzheimer's, at least in mice. "'On examining the brains of these mice, we found a chemical change not unlike that found in the Alzheimer brain,' [said] Susanne Akterin, a researcher at the Karolinska Institutet's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center... 'We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors... can adversely affect several brain substances, which can be a contributory factor in the development of Alzheimer's.' ... These mice showed chemical changes in their brains, indicating an abnormal build-up of the protein tau as well as signs that cholesterol in food reduced levels of another protein called Arc involved in memory storage."

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Obvious? (5, Insightful)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932545)

I'm not surprised that generally mismanaging your body with bad nutrition would make it more likely to get some kind of degenerative disease... While it's nice to find hard evidence I think at least the geek population would be plain dumb so assume otherwise.

Now if we could only get governments to have some kind of taxes on the bad stuff, and subsidize the good stuff. I'd eat better if I could afford it, quite frankly.

Re:Obvious? (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932609)

Yeah fast food and sugar causes alzheimers, how blindingly obvious is that?

Actually why is that obvious? Alzheimers is caused by the inability for neurons to clean up after themselves properly, it's not obvious at all and in fact this statistical link might not even be correct because we are currently only theorizing on the mechanism.

Why the first two replies are commenting on the obviousness of this I have no idea.

Re:Obvious? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932841)

It's obvious because if you only eat stuff that's really really *really* bad for you, bad things happen. In this case, they found one more bad thing that can happen. Big surprise.

Re:Obvious? (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933007)

It is somewhat naive to claim that those things are "really, really, really bad for you", though. While it is clear that these can have significant negative side effects on weight in some portion of the population if consumed in excess, the fact that this does not occur across the population universally, however, means that one could argue that the consumption of these foods by people who do not exhibit extreme weight gain from them might actually be helpful, and that not consuming energy-rich foods may be starving those people's cells. Everyone's body has different nutritional needs in terms of calories, etc., and painting with too broad a brush does more harm than good when it comes to understanding the issues involved.

For example, by some people's standards, caffeine is really, really bad for you. The same goes for alcohol. However, we now know that both of these substances decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease. Caffeine even decreases the risk of Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders. Following conventional wisdom and common sense to answer nutritional or medical questions frequently results in getting entirely the wrong answer.

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933257)

"one could argue that the consumption of these foods by people who do not exhibit extreme weight gain from them might actually be helpful, and that not consuming energy-rich foods may be starving those people's cells."

There are plenty of energy rich foods that aren't highly refined and stripped of important nutrients. Just because you have a high metabolism does not mean you need 40 oz of soda and some candy bars.

Re:Obvious? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933353)

Soda is debatable. It provides a significant amount of caffeine, so the question is which way the balance swings. That may well depend on quantity consumed and the specific soda in question.

Candy bars? Hardly. Chocolate (and particularly dark chocolate) is rich in antioxidants. Candy bars (within reason) can actually prolong your life in spite of the sugar in them.

Twinkies and corn syrup (with added high fructose corn syrup!?!?!), perhaps. Two pound quadruple cheeseburgers, sure. Chocolate and sodas? Not necessarily. Like I said, common sense is frequently wrong when it comes to your health....

Re:Obvious? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934359)

You know what else is high in antioxidants? Fruits and vegetables. Chocolate -- especially the sugar-rich, cocoa-poor blends that the average person can occupy the bargain bin at your local supermarket -- is not a health food. To that extent, "common sense" is indeed correct.

Though, due to the absurdities of government packaging guidelines, chocolate bars may soon be putting health claims on their wrappers.

It also buggers common sense to say that a low-soda diet might be depriving anyone of beneficial caffeination. Find me a nutritionist who claims that the benefits of the caffeine in soda outweighs the negative of all those empty calories, and I'll drink a six pack of Mountain Dew, then eat the cans.

If caffeine does show itself to have enough nutritional value to be included in widely-accepted nutritional guidelines, then it would be far better to get it from coffee or tea, many of which have honest-to-Cthulhu anti-oxidants in them.

Common sense is a far better guide than you seem to suggest.

EVEN MORE OBVIOUS!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934077)

We've had Alzheimer's long before we had "fast food".

Re:Obvious? (2, Insightful)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934691)

Are you saying that, among the three diets you're discussing (the standard American diet (SAD), the broad-stroke, nutritionally recommended diet (BSD), and the genetically individually-tailored, optimal diet (GIT)) that BSD is actually the worst?

Unless by "some portion of the population" you mean 90-95%. Anyhow, "energy rich" doesn't have to mean nutritionally poor. It doesn't even prevent a vegetarian or vegan diet. Look at the energy content of foods like peanut butter, avacadoes, honey, and olives, just to name a few. You can pudge out easily without resorting to junk food.

I have to ask, how can evolution account for these bizarre, junk-food-needing mutants, when true junk food has only been a significant force for a couple hundred years? If you're really insisting that "hey, this new-fangled low-junk food diet craze might not be healthy for everybody", I'll have to assume that you're getting kickbacks from McDonald's.

Re:Obvious? (2, Interesting)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933525)

It is obvious? Really? Please tell that to my mother who is developing it after a lifetime of never eating sugar (genetic diabetes) and eating like a bird.

People love to jump to conclusions based on personal biases and zero evidence.

Re:Obvious? (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934667)

Does your mother eat sugar substitutes such as aspartame or sodium saccharine?

Re:Obvious? (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933875)

McFood isn't exactly horribly bad for you. The biggest problem is the lack of fiber in it. Of course, too much McFood is bad for you, and it's a lot easier eating too much fast food.

Re:Obvious? (2, Insightful)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932935)

Stats tend to be quite useless when it comes to these things... Correlation is NOT causation!
e.g. if I eat an orange every day and my stress level goes down, does not mean the orange is reducing my stress!
Granted, it's possible, but it would be more reasonable to assume the brief break while I'm eating the orange is what is beneficial.

So for what ARE stats useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933559)

I understand that correlation is not causation. This is an important principle of statistical analysis. Though this principle alone doesn't instantly render the enterprise of statistical data-gathering worthless, does it?

Whenever someone hears a conclusion that disagrees with their pre-existing biases, they say, "well stats can be made to say anything you want." So does that mean that we can never trust any statistical evidence ever, no matter how how rigorously the principles of good data-gathering were applied?

So I ask you, when ARE stats useful?

Re:Obvious? (3, Insightful)

flynt (248848) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933937)

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Statistics are, to the contrary, one of the best ways to study things such as these. Your hypothetical experiment is of course ridiculous. However, imagine that we had many subjects *randomly* assigned to eating oranges, and many subjects assigned to eating placebo oranges. They did not know which one they were eating, nor did whoever was evaluating their "stress levels". Now, what if the group assigned to eating oranges had a statistically significant lower stress level? Then our conclusion would be that oranges cause lower stress levels. Now, I did not read this experiment, but if mice were *randomly* assigned to different treatments, a causal conclusion could certainly be warranted.

Re:Obvious? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934331)

GP was perfectly on target. What you are describing is a scientific experiment. Statistics requires no science; it's merely looking for signals in the data. The issue is the quality of the data. Without reading the paper, there's no way to know if they stuffed a bunch of rodents with bad food and reported on their demise or that there was a control group that ate normally.

Re:Obvious? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933085)

I wouldn't say that it's 'obvious' that eating food that isn't really nutritious could be related to Alzheimer's. However, I would say that I wouldn't particularly be 'surprised' to learn that it might be. That said, at this point it appears that there may be a link between the two, but that there's nothing absolutely definitive.

Re:Obvious? (3, Interesting)

six025 (714064) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933207)

It certainly is not "obvious'. Also, "fast food and candy" are attributes more likely associated with recent generations. Degenerative brain diseases typically affect older people who are much less likely to have lived that kind of lifestyle to a level that is impacting significantly on their health.

My aunty, at 72 years old, and slowly but surely is descending towards full Alzheimer's disease, yet her lifetime diet could hardly be considered "junk food". It was more like the typical diet of the working classes of her generation: "meat and three veg". Later in life (the last 15 years) she lived in the country (very clean air), took regular walks, and ate fresh vegetables from the garden every day.

Diet is very important for many reasons, but I don't think science will find a single smoking gun for these types of brain diseases. Rather there will be a number of highly complex interrelating factors that accumulate over a lifetime, some might even result from subtle behavioural issues, and some will be passed on in genetic code also.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Obvious? (1)

rawg (23000) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933985)

My Nana has Alzheimer's, and she has been a vegetarian for most of her life. I've ate fast food all my life and I'm perfectly healthy. 5.9 and 140-160 pounds. I think it's the whole make fast food evil thing thats been going on for years.

Re:Obvious? (1, Flamebait)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933407)

Why the first two replies are commenting on the obviousness of this I have no idea.

Because people like to blame the victim.

Re:Obvious? (1)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934561)

Why is this flamebait? It's true. Blaming the victim is a huge part of anything like this, because it "means" that you'll never get (in this case) Alzheimer's, oh no. You'd never be that stupid -- it helps grant the illusion of control.

Re:Obvious? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934267)

I agree I don't see anything of than this statistical correlation between fastfood sugar and Alzheimers that makes it obvious they should be linked. I think the parent poster was makeing the more general statement that our bodies like any other machine if not properly maintained are more likely to fail and sooner. Those failures are also more likely to defy repair as well.

Re:Obvious? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932635)

My wife will probably tell me she saw this story on Ophra...

Re:Obvious? (5, Insightful)

Craevenwulfe (611318) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932637)

Yeah, Coke is WAY cheaper than tap water and mcdonalds/pizza hut cost me so much less than a chicken salad.

Re:Obvious? (3, Informative)

wisty (1335733) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932663)

Not a great idea. A lot of US agriculture industries have a lot of "government relations" clout. See Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac? [pcrm.org] . Then we can talk about McDonalds, KFC, and Coca Cola.

Re:Obvious? (3, Insightful)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932741)

*tinfoil hat on*
Don't forget that it's easier to control the sheeple when they're not healthy and strong.
*tinfoil hat off*

Re:Obvious? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932861)

Ever also thought about a relation of food and pharma industry?

CC.

FDA (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932967)

Ever also thought about a relation of food and pharma industry?

The United States has a Food and Drug Administration [fda.gov] . Think about it.

Re:FDA (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933141)

The United States has a Food and Drug Administration. Think about it.

Of course they're in it together. Ever wonder why the US has a 100% mortality rate?

Re:FDA (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933327)

Ever wonder why the US has a 100% mortality rate?

Wrong. Ever hear of Walt Disney on ice? Hint. It doesn't include Nancy Kerrigan.

Re:FDA (1)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934591)

Shoot, if you factor in our military escapades, we're over a hundred percent. Extra credit, and all that.

Re:Obvious? (2, Funny)

gnud (934243) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933491)

Why'd you take your tinfoil hat off?
Wait... they've gotten to you!

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932697)

"Now if we could only get governments to have some kind of taxes on the bad stuff, and subsidize the good stuff. I'd eat better if I could afford it, quite frankly."

We all die regardless of our diet, it's simply the laws of physics and biology playing themselves out. If we take ancient lifespans into account, even disregarding "bad nutrition" a modern person who eats poorly is still often more healthy then many ancient people who ate "healthy". Not only that, no one really knows how much age is genetically determined and what other factors influence aging. Our aging science is in the beginning stages IMHO. There's too many factors to account for, the cellular environment and contingency on the ceullular level is something that can't easily be measured, but only measured 'grossly'.

Re:Obvious? (1)

riggah (957124) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933521)

I'm not sure about it being obvious. What they're talking about is a preliminary study upon which a loose hypothesis is based.

What people don't seem to be able to grasp is that "junk food" is called that because it's junk. Period. Candy really doesn't have any redeeming features, either. Common sense dictates that if you're eating candy and junk food in the levels that the mice were forced to ingest (much more than three meals every day, I'm sure) something adverse will eventually happen to your body.

Of course, they could've avoided spending money on this research if they'd all just listened to their mothers in the first place.

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933713)

I'm not surprised that generally mismanaging your body with bad nutrition would make it more likely to get some kind of degenerative disease... While it's nice to find hard evidence I think at least the geek population would be plain dumb so assume otherwise.

Now if we could only get governments to have some kind of taxes on the bad stuff, and subsidize the good stuff. I'd eat better if I could afford it, quite frankly.

That last statement shows ignorance. Fast food is much more expensive than home cooked healthy food. Even high-end, organic, hippy-store produce is cheap and fish is one of the cheapest and healthiest forms of protein. You don't eat poorly because of cost you eat poorly because of convenience as cooking for yourself is time consuming and doesn't fit well with our modern chaotic schedules.

Re:Obvious? (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933911)

Cost includes more than just the price on the package. Time investment has a cost to it.

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934215)

Cost includes more than just the price on the package. Time investment has a cost to it.

Time investment is only a cost if you were going to be doing something less costly or more profitable with the time if you weren't investing time in the pursuit in question. If you really want to talk total cost you'd have to add the depreciation of cooking equipment and the cost of future diet-related health care, or maybe even part of your gym membership.

Cost is a financial liability not just something you don't want to do. If you're going to play semantic games learn what the words mean in a given context first. Just claiming something doesn't make it so.

Re:Obvious? (3, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934121)

I agree completely. I eat very well, and cheaply, as a vegetarian. All of my food is home-cooked and a large majority of it is even home-grown. I wouldn't be able to afford eating out two or three times a day because of the ridiculous price of processed foods. People aren't cheap, they're just lazy. Not being able to sit down and eat a proper meal with your family also says a lot about our culture in and of itself.

Re:Obvious? (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933747)

It's not really clear how "obvious" this is. Human bodies are, to a great extent, machines for turning stuff into the sugar glucose. Unlike ruminants, we can't handle cellulose, but most everything else that enters digestive track gets turned into glucose reasonably efficiently and is extracted into the blood stream in order to fuel the body. (OK, fats are handled a bit differently if you want to get picky)

There is a probably a valid issue with some chemicals and compounds like salt and caffiene that get into the blood. But despite the determined efforts of highly trained professionals to blame the stuff for a panapoly of serious problems, the evidence against them is thin (sodium) to nonexistent (caffiene).

If you ever plan a diet for a week in the wilderness -- lots of calories, sufficient vitamins and minerals, low mass (you are not going to be carrying 18 sweet potatoes, 6 heads of brocolli, etc on your back. At least not more than once.) -- you'll find that it is not that different from the stuff in the candy machine. Lots of chocolate, fats, proteins, dried fruits, nuts.

In short. We have not the slightest idea what a healthy or unhealthy diet is. I've gone through about five different eras of listening to people pontificate on what they think others should be eating -- starting with lots of red meat and dairy products and going on to see just about everything edible elevated and deprecated at one point or another. I'm not saying that there is no such thing as an optimum diet. Just that we have no clue what it is.

So, is it obvious that the crap in the candy machine is unhealthy? Well, if I were going to fund a life insurance policy with me as beneficiary, I'd certainly pick the candy addict over the dude who is living on salads, fish, and fresh fruit. But I wouldn't be all that surprised if the health food nut was floored by a heart attack at age 47 and the candy abuser attended the funerals of all the doctors that lectured him on his weight and diet when they died of old age.

Re:Obvious? (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933767)

I'd eat better if I could afford it, quite frankly.

Yes, fast/junk food can be astonishly cheap, but that does not make it good value, especially if it's loaded with stuff that's bad for your health, (typically far too much saturated fats, salt and sugar).

But you can eat well, and cheap. For example, if you have no time to cook, get a slow cooker. Throw some natural rice and whatever else you fancy into it, (fish, meat, veg.), turn on & go to work. Hot meal waiting for you when you get home in evening. Ingredients will cost less than a hamburger, and most importantly you know what you put into it...

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934389)

If that slow cooker has a teflon or equivalent non-stick coating, then what are you really eating?

Huh? Tax it? (2, Funny)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933919)

Just wondering, who do you think you that you can run around getting government involved in everything? Seriously, tax it? Where did that come from? Because more government is all we need, right? If people want to put crap into their bodies, so be it.
Are you going to tax healthy restaurants too? Which menu items will you tax? I hope you won't tax the Salad+Vinegarett combos. I suppose if you support universal healthcare then you could make a case for taxing unhealthy foods. I love people that think we need the government to baby our citizens into behaving and eating well.

On a side note, I haven't RTA, but my guess is they correlate these two, and do not find the cause.
IANABiologist, but I've read some papers that make a fairly convincing case that Alzheimers is simply diabetes in the brain [sciencedaily.com] .
Fast foods (and candy of course) are terribly rich in starch. The starch/sugar-> glucose process takes very little effort on behalf of your body, and is very fast. Result is tons of glucose spikes in your blood, which over time decreases insulin sensitivity of your (muscles, brain). That's not even mentioning the free radicals (cancer agents) released when processing the starches.

So the answer is not a blanket "avoid fast food" (or, heaven forbid tax it) but when you go out to eat, choose what you eat carefully. Stay away from the simple carbs like fries, get proteins and fibers.

Re:Obvious? NOT! (1)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934139)

Apparently you are not old enough to remember the saccharine scare of the 70's. Diet sodas were introduced, containing that chemical. Then, some nanny state idiots came along and said it causes cancer in lab rats or mice. After all the panic, people boycotting diet soda, someone did a little digging into the research. Come to find out that the lab rats were fed the equivalent amount which would require a human to consume 500 or more 12 oz diet sodas a day! Mice do NOT equal humans, as much as researcher would like you to think. If a study of humans, who have alzheimers, finds that their diet was rich in fast food & sugar, then you might have a case. As for getting the government to put a food tax on something, I say NO! The government runs enough of my life now, and in 09 will more than likely be running more of it, so no thank you for a food tax. I find the problem with nutrition in America like this. We eat too many preprocessed foods than we did when I was a kid. Most people "grew their own" food in gardens, which gave us minerals, enzymes, and antibodies that we no longer get now that everything comes prepackaged.

Re:Obvious? (1)

stu72 (96650) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934469)

While I agree with the suggestion we should tax/control/ban the shite food, where does the impression that fast food is cheaper come from?

I can't think of single comparison between meals made at home from groceries, where the per meal cost would come in below a fast food restaurant. You could certainly argue that healthy restaurants are more expensive than crap restaurants, but the real issue is eating in restaurants, not the cost of the food.

Re:Obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934511)

Sure all we need is more government intervention and some more regulation and a bureaucratic body in charge of everyone's eating habits.

Frankly the government can Fuck Off and stay the fuck out of my life it's not the government's job to control what I eat. I was taught nutrition in school it is up to me to eat or not eat good food.

I'm sure you are not too far from; well lets just have the government ban all bad foods and make the people eat good food ehh? WTF? Commie.

 

Suddenoutbreakofcommonsense? (1)

Hellcom (1041714) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932573)

I know, I know, we need these studies, but duh.

"Everything in moderation" (3, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932591)

That's an ancient cliche but very relevant. Eating too much rock dust would cause cancer. So too would anything else consumed in a quantity that creates an imbalance.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (5, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932619)

Such as refined sugar. It's amazing how hard it is to find a decent lunch in some places that isn't full of sugar. This bothers me because it did lead to a degenerative disease in me -- I'm diabetic. Didn't know any better growing up. We know better now, but there's this amazing momentum to the food industry -- will they change now that everyone knows? Without regulation? I'm not sure.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (4, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932781)

Both my parents are Type II diabetic... meaning it wasn't hereditary. Been there, seen that, hoping it skips a generation.

That's not to say my dietary habits are perfect; I have an aggressive sweet tooth and love fatty junk like cookies, chips, and ice cream (Breyer's Natural Vanilla!), but I'm very conscious of it. I'm within 15 pounds of my ideal 150 weight, and never more than 40 past it. In my twenties I had 5% body fat and a 43 pulse (from cycling and hiking). Contrast that with my father who even in his early twenties, according to my uncle, would binge on pastries and crap, starve himself for a day or two, then go right back to eating more junk. I grew up watching him stand in the kitchen eating peanut butter mixed with honey! He was always obese, not surprisingly.

I think another cliche applies here, in my case: "sins of the father". Trying not to repeat them....

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932989)

You should read What if it's all been a big fat lie [nytimes.com] - first, "we" the government knew better when you were growing up, but "we" the people didn't, because the USDA, operating on completely bullshit findings from the NIH, told us to eat a lot of carbs on purpose. They knew what it would do to us, but let's face it, there's money in processed foods. Second, there is basically no difference in your body between white bread and refined sugar. So it frankly does not matter one tenth of one shit whether the sugar is refined or not. You can get diabetes from living on bologna sandwiches.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933851)

because the USDA, operating on completely bullshit findings from the NIH, told us to eat a lot of carbs on purpose.

They told you to eat a diet based around complex carbs. They were right. [webmd.com] They never told you to eat a lot.

Somehow "complex" was too complicated for the average American to comprehend (especially with agribusiness staticing up the channel), and some people (like you) heard "eat a lot", and loaded up on the starches and sugars rather than on whole grains and vegetables.

Linking to an article defending the quack Atkins diet would be merely funny if it weren't tragic. People on Atkins and similar diets put themselves at increased risk of many diseases, and do not lose any more weight than people on other diets of the same calorie level. They're about the worst diet possible - excepting only the aptly-named SAD, the Standard American Diet.

Aside from fads and misinterpretations, the basic message has been consistent and correct for decades: eat a varied and calorically-moderate diet based around vegetables and whole grains, rich in complex carbs and fiber, moderate in protein, and low in fat.

There is increasing understanding of the benefits of monounsaturated fats, but that doesn't mean you should drink fish or flaxseed oil by the cup. There's increased evidence of the benefits of traditional soy foods like miso or natto, but that doesn't mean you should eat a whole bunch of TSP or other processed soy foods.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

headbulb (534102) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933011)

If you live in the usa. Try to find something without corn in it. It's almost impossible. The Corn industry is subsidized by the government. Then there are tariff's on sugar imported into the usa. So really how are we supposed to eat healthy when that's not really the focus?

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

RebelWithoutAClue (578771) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933211)

You should consider supplementing Benfotiamine. It reduces formation of AGEs.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933457)

Such as refined sugar. It's amazing how hard it is to find a decent lunch in some places that isn't full of sugar. This bothers me because it did lead to a degenerative disease in me -- I'm diabetic. Didn't know any better growing up. We know better now, but there's this amazing momentum to the food industry -- will they change now that everyone knows? Without regulation? I'm not sure.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity. Obesity is caused by eating too much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes_mellitus_type_2#Prevention [wikipedia.org]

It's a free country. You can eat unhealthily and get sick, just like you can buy a gun and blow your brains out. Don't try to use the government to take away the choice from the rest of us just because you gambled and lost with your health.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933921)

Eh, get that Libertarian urge much? ;-)

Re:"Everything in moderation" (3, Insightful)

JaBob (1194069) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932903)

It's sad how many peoples' lives would be better by this little principal. I grew up with a fat parent and fat siblings. I would see the way that people would treat them and didn't want to be treated the same way. Looking for some advice, I ended up getting a subscription for a men's health magazine (also for the humor and the quality of the non-health articles) and over the course of about 10 years or so that I read it, the only thing that seemed to last was 'moderation.' It's funny that it not only works for food, but for exercise, work, hobbies, relationships, money, etc. Never too much or too little of anything. And everyone should have some vices, as long as you keep tabs on them and don't let them run amok, and they don't cause you to neglect any other aspect of your life. It's a dead simple rule to follow too.

Re:"Everything in moderation" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934345)

No. It's vacuous and useless.

How is "moderation" defined? Not too much and not too little, right? Awesome, now all we need to know is how much is too much and how little is too little, i.e. the very information the cliche supposedly provides.

Or maybe it means average. I should be eating and behaving like the average American. Yeah, never mind.

(Then someone says "I'll show you what moderation means", *-1 Troll*)

Damn, I'm screwed... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932605)

All this leftover halloween candy... Well... I guess I'm screwed then.
About what?... I forget

Hogwash (4, Funny)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932621)

Sounds like absolute hogwash to me. Now I have to head for the candy machine and get me one of those ... you know ... what are they called? ... things.

Re:Hogwash (4, Funny)

Afecks (899057) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934247)

Whatchamacallit, the official candy bar of Alzheimer's sufferers.

speculation (1)

cuby (832037) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932641)

"We now suspect that"
Yeah...I also can suspect that a giant skids are aliens incarnations from Frodo...

The world is already full of FUD, comeback with real prof please.

Re:speculation (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932785)

The world is already full of FUD, comeback with real prof please.

You know the difference between "we suspect" and "we conclude"? About 10 million dollars.

Still looking forward to funding this with your hard-earned tax money?

Meanline, a control group of mice ... (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932689)

. . . fed on a diet of nicotine and alcohol, behaved in a way described by Dr. Akterin as "ladish", and taunted her with "tits out for the mice!"

This just in! (4, Informative)

forgoil (104808) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932727)

Living will kill you.

Re:This just in! (1)

vintagepc (1388833) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932981)

You forgot to post the article to that... "The Latest research suggests that living in itself may in fact be inherently dangerous to everyone. Experts are currently working on a plan to reduce this danger, and research suggests that objects such as rope, razors and high-strenght drugs may be beneficial in eliminating the danger of being alive."

Re:This just in! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933023)

Living will kill you.

Are you sure? It hasn't so far.

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934263)

Living will kill you.

Are you sure? It hasn't so far.

You wait and see. I bet it will in the end.

I forgot what you just said (1)

fortapocalypse (1231686) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932743)

I'm eating a Twinkie

More FUD (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932757)

I'm sick of all the vague and useless FUD coming out of the scientific community. There is not a single thing that they can discover or will discover that will change the fact that we will die.

Regardless of the novel intent, the underlying message, that we should be in constant fear, of what we eat, breath, and drink is really no improvement of where we were 200 years ago, before there were even scientists. What's the point! Get back to work on flying cars leave the mice alone.

I can hear already the trumpets of safety wailing away. Soon we'll have even more legislation about the sorts of food that we can eat, supposedly in our best interest, but really, a puritanical expression of clinging to life at every last grasp no matter what. We should only be puritans about things that matter.

Sometimes life is worth more than just extending it. Sometimes there is a choice between living free and well versus merely living longer.

Remember when eggs were bad for you? (1)

localroger (258128) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932795)

After years of telling people to avoid eggs suddenly it turns out that they're not bad for you after all. It's partly the media and partly scientists who want the limelight provided by the media, but it's really irresponsible how lifestyle changes are suggested (and in some cases demanded) based on one or two studies like this, while centuries of anecdotal evidence to the contrary are ignored.

Re:Remember when eggs were bad for you? (1, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932933)

The "eggs are bad" example is recent history. A better example is margarine being touted as the healthy (and tasty) alternative to butter. Some of us knew better, of course, but the margarine evil lasted a few generations.

Re:Remember when eggs were bad for you? (2, Informative)

ravrazor (69324) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933381)

Just to stop anybody on slashdot from switching from (or staying with) butter because this comment has been moderated "interesting"... margarine IS better...as long as you pick a decent one that's not 59 cents per 1 kg tub.
From the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/butter-vs-margarine/AN00835 [mayoclinic.com]
The American Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=532 [americanheart.org]

And if you're looking for more info, here's how a search engine works:
http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=butter+margarine [letmegoogl...foryou.com]

Re:Remember when eggs were bad for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934725)

The American Heart Association tells me that red meat is bad for me.

Excuse my while I continue to eat butter.

So go jump in front of a bus, we will thank you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932843)

So go jump in front of a bus, we will thank you later for making our day.

If this makes you so "sick", stop reading it! Study after study has shown, with scientific accuracy, that reading stuff that makes you sick (tada) MAKES YOU SICK !! So STOP READING STUFF THAT MAKES YOU SICK!

Carry on

Re:More FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932857)

I don't understand your anger. If you really think this is FUD you have to blame the media that transports these studies. A study finds that if you only eat crap your brain will melt and the medias report it like you will die as soon as you touch a burger.

Imo the key word here is "diet". You probably don't get alzheimer's because you eat fast food and candy, but because of all the healty and tasty stuff you don't eat.

It's the self promotion... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933049)

The point here is that the study said nothing that was new or useful. What we have hear is some broad tortured a mouse and said that we need to eat more healthily. Like, what did she really do that was useful? Nothing. There's no guarantee that if you follow her conclusion, you won't get alzheimers. There's nothing to treat people that already have gotten it. There's nothing but a bunch of dead mice, a scientist with a flair for self promotion, saying that we need to eat better. Big deal.

Re:It's the self promotion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933281)

Well, I am a programmer. The first thing you do when hunting a bug is trying to reproduce it. If you can't reproduce it in a controled environment your chances are low to find the cause.
So scienists doing research. Big deal.

It is not like some crazy doctor sits in his secret laboratory experimenting with different colored fluids until he finds a mixture that is glowing purple and then he opens the front door, green smoke emerging from behind, and he yells "I have found a cure for Alzheimer's!". You have to do basic research first. And some of it may seem irrelevant and most of it will seem boring and people will always claim they knew that already.

Basic research is useless. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934297)

Occam's razor applies to science as well. If you are not doing the simplest possible thing to solve the problem at hand, you are dicking around at humanity's expense. I think this story falls into that category of self indulgence funded by human fear and I think that's terrible.

It's fine for you to wave the flag of basic research, but honestly, I'm questioning whether or not this is in fact the way to go. We've been onto this "basic research" approach for quite some time now and have very little to show for it. I think a Manhattan style approach would be far more efficient.

You could probably cut a lot of crap out with manhattan style project planning for all major dieseases. You go and establish prevention tracking databases as I described, and then open up lines of inquiries as prescribed towards several major approaches towards curing the disease in question. In cancer it might be elevating immune responses, killing the cells, starving the tumors, whatever, and just get those approaches down. If you have to do detailed research there, then obviously do it. You would assign scientists to each slot, and that's what their career is. If they can't get it done, then replace them... and the scientist can either be sent off to work another problem, off to teach, or just sent back to wawa, who cares.

Consider this approach for alzheimers and this article... you could take millions of dollars and pay people to torture mice and find out everything about them, then spend billions more trying out different things in people only to find out that it doesn't work because mice are not human..., or you could set up a data warehouse that tracks what people do.

Just take any number of family members of alzheimers patients, gather up as much data about their diets as possible, and create a public wiki with a data mining engine to let and go -any- researcher mine the stuff for statistical links.
Any sort of dietary culprit would stick out like a red flag and from there you could do genetic testing on the people involved to determine if the diet triggers an alzheimer's gene.

Because self reporting might not be accurate enough, going forward, you could add the support of supermarkets and restaurants to dump their data from participating credit card holders to this database and then you'd -know- exactly what those newer participants ate.

I would think the whole shebang, from soup to nuts, would cost less than a few million bucks to set up and we would be done already. Instead, we got this person waving around basic research, a pile of dead mice, and really nothing useful for it. You can call it science as much as you want, but I call it religion...

If I want a religion, I can pick one a lot more entertaining than some dike stuffing rodents into a torture pit to say that mcdonald's is bad for us. I like an angry judeo-christian god smiting everyone with flood and fire and brimstone, not even for any just reason, but, because, he's just a god and a dick and can do that. Sure, fire and brimstone god isn't going to cure alzheimers with some miracle, but then again, neither is some dike killing mice for the fuck of it.

Re:It's the self promotion... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933415)

If you feel that you don't have the ability to learn anything from this data point, then fine. You go on and eat nothing but junk food. Please.

Common Sense (I would guess) ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932803)

... would suggest that it does not much good if you behave in an unbalanced manner, irrespective of the domain. If you are not balanced, you end up flat on your face, as easy as that (admittedly, it is quite hard to rediscover common sense after a treat of 'scientific values clarification').

CC.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25932885)

Damn, that explains Alzheimer's and cancer and diabetes and stuff over a hundred years ago; it was all the Big Macs and pizza slices and sodas... Oh, WAIT. They didn't have that stuff a hundred years ago. Wow, maybe the Government needs to fund a study on what caused say, Alzheimer's, one hundred years ago if it wasn't a Big Mac.

Re:Interesting (0, Troll)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933499)

It was those Republican fuckers driving SUVs.

Alzheimer's is the new Cancer? (3, Insightful)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932901)

Sounds like Alzheimer's is going to become the "new cancer" where everything causes Alzheimer's. Can we just fastforward to the part where they admit they don't have a clue what causes it, please?

Re:Alzheimer's is the new Cancer? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933173)

Well, actually they do research on what causes Alzheimer's because they don't know what causes it. You see, the scheme here is, if you don't know something, you do research, and then eventually you can come to a conclusion that answers your question.

Re:Alzheimer's is the new Cancer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933217)

We know for certain that age causes it.

Re:Alzheimer's is the new Cancer? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25934829)

Insightful my ass. Alzheimer's, like cancer, is a condition caused partly by genetic predisposition and partly by long-term assault upon cellular integrity (with things like this it's usually either DNA damage or oxidative damage or both). So there are about a gazillion things which are bad for you. Minimize them, and you minimize your risk. But eliminating one of them without addressing the others isn't going to be some magic shield.

I thought MSG and Nutrasweet caused it... (2, Informative)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932983)

Before anybody runs to diet products because they shouldn't have sugar: There's plenty of anecdotal evidence... [google.com]

What about the sugar (3, Insightful)

benj_e (614605) | more than 4 years ago | (#25932997)

The title states that a "Diet of Fast Food and Candy May Cause Alzheimers" and the link states that "diet rich in fat, sugar, and cholesterol could increase the risk of Alzheimer's".

Yet in the body of the article we get this little gem: "We now suspect that a high intake of fat and cholesterol in combination with genetic factors ... can adversely affect several brain substances...".

Seems they conveniently left out sugar in the summary.

Interesting

Missing pic (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933005)

a Reuters report on research out of Sweden indicating that a diet rich in fat, sugar, and cholesterol could increase the risk of Alzheimer's, at least in mice.

The poster neglected to link to the pic of the test subject [wikimedia.org] .

Mice? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933055)

I thought the mice were experimenting on us?

</hhgttg>

Damn! (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933121)

I forgot to order a pizza!

Bad scientist! (3, Informative)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933145)

The study is quite flawed, she might as well feed them a diet "rich in rat poison" and conclude that it's quite fatal for the critters.

There are more studies needed, focusing on the separate compounds; is a diet rich in sugar bad? Is the sugar rich diet bad if the net caloric intake is low? Is the sugar rich diets bad when combined with nutritional supplements that cover the nutritional needs that sugar doesn't provide? Is a combination diet of sugar and fat worse or better than the single sugar or single fat ones? Is HDL cholesterol a equal factor as LDL cholesterol? In what manners do the mice metabolism change in the diets? Could these changes perhaps be blocked by medication, and if yes, will it prevent alzheimers?

The study tells us what we already know, a diet of junk food is bad for you. However, most likely a diet of junk food will kill you trough some other pathway before you develop alzheimers.

More bad research and unsupported conclusions (2, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933463)

As you'll find with almost all dietary research, the conclusions are baseless. They fed the mice junk food, and focused on only a couple measures of the contents of the junk food - "fat", cholesterol, sugar. What about the other crap in junk food? What about the nutrients you DON'T find in junk food but that are crucial to life? Do any of those components (or lack thereof) correlate better? Blank out. What types of fat are bad, and what types are good? Trans fat? polyunsaturated? monounsaturated? saturated? long chain, medium chain, or short chain? WHICH TYPES OF FAT?! Blank out.

Nope, you won't find that here. All fat is assumed to be bad. Other studies show all cholesterol to be bad, or all protein to be bad, or all carbs to be bad, without actually examining in detail the nutrient content of the food to find what component actually correlates the most with their definition of "bad".

Until a randomized, double blind study is done, the only thing you can conclude from this is that junk food correlates to a certain degree with Alzheimer's. Nothing can be said about "fat", nor about cholesterol, nor about sugar.

Re:More bad research and unsupported conclusions (2, Insightful)

Neuronaut137 (1420457) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933841)

"Correlation is not causation" is probably the most overused and misapplied tag on this site. If there is a control, and there was, then it's not just a correlation. Whether the cause is actually sugar/fat or some other difference between the "bad" diet and the control diet is subject to debate, but there is a cause here, not simply a correlation. And this is rodent research, so there is no such thing as a double blind study.

Re:More bad research and unsupported conclusions (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 4 years ago | (#25934567)

Sorry, I should have been more specific: double-blind study on humans. As far as "correlation/causation" - I'm not sure where you picked up that I made that claim. Correlation is fine, as long as you actually do a thorough examination and try to determine what components (or missing components) provide the best correlation. Otherwise you're just dangerously misinforming the public, as this study does.

bzzzzzzt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933533)

The article points out, they were fed "fast food", which contains things other than fat and cholesterol. Fast food is also cooked differently than other foods. Just blindly saying "fast food" was the cause is misleading at best. It is a known fact that fast food contains chemicals not normally found in other foods. It is also a known fact that how food is cooked can change it's chemical composition dramatically, making normally healthy food toxic. Just another "study" where there is a poor control group and general assumption of "it's the fat" not taking into account other factors or combination of factors. It's a study which uses only that data they want to prove an EMOTION/POLITICAL MOTIVATION towards fast food in general. It really doesn't find the real cause.

As to the sugar comments, the real problem is not sugar in general. It is corn syrup, a chemically produced/altered sugar. It goes toward my first point. Just because it's similar doesn't make it the same.

We need to get corn syrup, melamine, and all the other nasty chemicals/chemically produced ingredients out of the food supply. "Small quantities" are not safe. We also need to quit using the "food pyramid" originally designed for the proper food intake of cattle not people. We need to quit being "sheeple".

No Way! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933539)

you mean eating junk food is bad for you?

epU!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933567)

[anti-slash.org] 1nterest i8 having they started to

Doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25933637)

I for one would like to welcome our new...eh what ...already?

Also, (1)

kevind23 (1296253) | more than 4 years ago | (#25933641)

MSG.
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