A new study has warned that junk food could be bad for the mind.

A team of researchers in the United States discovered trans-fats found in processed foods is linked to memory loss in men aged 45 and younger.

It showed that men whose diets contained the highest levels of the fats were likely to recall 12 fewer words in a memory test than those who avoided them.

According to US lead researcher, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, from the University of California at San Diego, "trans-fat consumption has previously shown adverse associations to behaviour and mood – other pillars of brain function."

The team analysed data from 1,018 men and women who were asked to complete a dietary survey and take part in word recall memory tests.

On average, men aged 45 and younger were able to recall 86 words in the tests, but for each additional gram of trans-fat they consumed each day, their performance reduced by a statistical 0.76 words.

This translated to young men being able to recall around 12 fewer words if their trans-fat consumption matched the highest levels seen in the study.

They pointed out that while the trend was only significant for men, this may only have been due to the small number of women participants in the same age group.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week US authorities announced the ban of trans-fat in food owing to its adverse effect on health.