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Living in a Poor Neighborhood: New Study Uncovers Alarming Impact on Your Brain and Its Connection to Fast Food

Previous studies have underscored the challenges that those who are living in a poor neighborhood frequently encounter when it comes to accessing nutritious food choices.

The researchers found that the low-quality food options available in impoverished neighborhoods lead to greater consumption of calorie-rich foods rich in trans-fatty acids. (Photo: Google)

Living in a poor neighborhood not only takes a toll on your physical well-being but also exerts an influence on your brain, as demonstrated by a recent study.

According to an article published by Zenger, living in a poor neighborhood in an impoverished area not only impacts your physical health but also affects your brain, as revealed by a recent study. Past research has highlighted how individuals living in a poor neighborhood residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods often face limited access to healthy food options.

However, this new study uncovers that it can even lead to alterations in the brain’s microstructure.

The scientists discovered that the poor quality of available food in such a poor neighborhood contributes to an increased consumption of calorie-rich foods high in trans-fatty acids. Coupled with environments that lack opportunities for physical activity, this disrupts the brain’s information processing capabilities related to reward, emotion regulation, and cognition.

In this study, published in Communications Medicine, researchers delved into the brain’s cortex to understand precisely how living in a poor neighborhood in disadvantaged neighborhoods can affect specific brain regions.

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They identified differences in the fine structure of the cortex associated with neighborhood disadvantage, some of which correlated with higher body mass index and an increased intake of trans-fatty acids commonly found in fast food.

According to an article published by El Paso INC, this research underscores that regions of the brain associated with reward, emotion, and knowledge acquisition may be adversely affected by aspects of living in a poor neighborhood and neighborhood disadvantage, contributing to obesity. It emphasizes the need to address dietary quality issues in living in a poor neighborhood and disadvantaged neighborhoods to safeguard both physical and brain health.

Neighborhood disadvantage encompasses factors like low income, education levels, overcrowding, and inadequate plumbing. The study involved 92 participants from Los Angeles, revealing the intricate connections between living in a poor neighborhood, neighborhood disadvantage, and brain structure, particularly in regions governing social interaction, reward processing, and cognitive functions.

These findings illuminate how factors prevalent in living in a poor neighborhood and impoverished areas can disrupt information processing in the brain, leading to adverse health outcomes.

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