New research from Australasian medical experts shows junk food has a profound effect on our brains, long before our waistlines expand.
Junk food diets can reprogram your brain to favour bad food choices and weaken your resistance to sweet foods.
High-fat, high-sugar diets can also affect your memory and increase your vulnerability to anxiety.
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However, exercise and returning to a healthy diet can reverse the reprogramming within two months.
Dr Ian Johnston, of the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology, told the Herald Sun the public often think obesity is linked to a lack of willpower.
“People think about obesity as being a moral problem, that people are fat because they have poor self-control,” he said.
“What my data has shown is that obesity seems to come after people are exposed to bad food.
“It’s reprogramming the brain into the choices you make.”