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As Americans export their love of burgers and fries to the rest of the world, it comes with a side order of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and reported on



The researchers found that as other nations adopt a Western diet, there’s a correlation with the rise in the rates of dementia and other chronic disease. According to study author William Grant, Japan is a good example. It shifted toward a more westernized diet, and saw the rate of Alzheimer’s rise from 1 percent in 1985 to 7 percent in 2008. In the early 1960s, the Japanese ate a diet that was based heavily on grains, mostly rice, and fish, which are linked to lower rates of dementia. The Western diet includes red meat, processed foods, saturated fats and sugar.

The United States has the second highest rate of Alzheimer’s in the world. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, that number is expected to grow to nearly 14 million.

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