CogniFit's Science blog: Seconds At The Dinner Table Can Lead To Loss Of Memory

Seconds At The Dinner Table Can Lead To Loss Of Memory

Everyone gets a pass when it comes to indulging over a large Thanksgiving meal and even leftovers the next day.

But getting seconds and thirds at the dinner table day in and day out can have important implications on your memory and brain as a whole.

A new study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting shows that overeating can double the risk of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment in people aged 70 and older. While it has long been known that a poor diet could lead to unwanted pounds, this evidence sheds new light on the consequences of eating that second plate of food every night.

The trend of individuals experiencing normal loss of thought and memory has gradually been increasing over the last half century. A loss of cognition and early stage dementia are both precursors for the devastating Alzheimer’s disease that now affects nearly half of those aged 80 and above. What’s sad is the simple fact that managing your diet and practicing calorie restriction early in life is one of the most effective tools to fighting off memory loss.


The power is in our own hands to prevent dementia, but we as a society keep eating away at our memory and brain cells. The new study that presented these findings focused on 1,233 individuals who were aged 70 to 89 and free of dementia.

Each filled out a survey that highlighted the number of calories they ate or drank and were then separated into three groups based on caloric consumption. For the study, a third consumed between 600 and 1,526 calories a day, the second third averaged around 1,526 to 2,143 and the last group consumed between 2,1432 and 6,000 calories a day.

The findings were clearly evident that high caloric intake doubles the risk of cognitive decline and a loss of memory in seniors. The higher the amount of calories that were consumed each day the higher the risk of MCI was found. This even took into account a history of stroke, diabetes and other factors that can affect risk of memory loss.

With this, the study found that the participants in the lower two-thirds experienced no increased risk MCI. What this suggests is that the body can metabolize calories to a specific threshold before it begins to ne’s memory.

The excessive intake can lead to oxidative damage that results in structural changes in the brain over time. So the next time you sit down at the dinner table, eat in moderation knowing a diet high in calories can lead to much worse than an extra pound or two.