Western Diet: Risk of Alzheimer's?

By: Dean Hayes


This article was published by the Chicago Tribune, published on March 28th, 2016, and written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed. This article gives a brief overview of Alzheimer’s Disease and then proceeds to explain how Western Diet is related to Alzheimer’s. It then goes on to explain a study done by Ph.D student, Leah Graham, and an assistant professor, Gareth Howell. The study fed the western diet to two groups of mice: one with “aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease” and a healthy group. Next, the article discusses how the healthy mice developed signs of Alzheimer’s such as an increased immune response in the mice’s brains. Finally, the article goes on to site the Huffington Post’s list of foods that decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and conclude that the Western Diet does in fact increase the risk for developing Alzheimer’s.

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The author of this article is Dr. Ahmed I Zayed, a professor and chair of the Mathematical Sciences at DePaul University (Ahmed). It was published in the Chicago Tribune, which is a daily newspaper in the city of Chicago. Both the author and the publisher of this article have the appropriate credentials for it to be considered a reliable source, but the content of the article leaves more to be desired. The article does discuss the study that links the western diet to Alzheimer’s, but it doesn’t give or provide a link or a reference to the actual study. It only briefly describes the scientific evidence that there was an increased immune response in the brain of the mice and it does not mention what happened to the brain of the control group of mice. It also sites the Huffington Post, which is not a reliable medical source, on what foods are good to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It then goes on to conclude that the western diet increases the risk of Alzheimer’s without providing more than two sentences of scientific information. The article also never defines what a “western diet” consists of and how it is different from any other diets. It only states that the western diet is high animal product sugars and fats.

Overall, this article comes to a misleading conclusion using very minimal scientific evidence. It does not do a good job explaining the study that the entire conclusion of the article is based off of, and it does not site a single scholarly source. A better place to find information on this topic would be a medical journal or an article published by either a .edu or .gov publisher. Finally, I would not consider anything in this article to be scientifically valid and would look elsewhere or ask a professional for more information on the topic.


Ahmed I. Zayed. Retrieved April 8, 2016, from DePaul.edu website: http://condor.depaul.edu/azayed/

Zayed, A. I. (2016, March 28). How Western Diet Increases the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease? Chicago Tribune.