Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a global health burden and a major cause of disability and mortality. An early cascade of physical and structural damaging events starts immediately post-TBI. This primary injury event initiates a series of neuropathological molecular and biochemical secondary injury sequelae, that last much longer and involve disruption of cerebral metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and can lead to neuronal damage and death. Coupled to these events, recent studies have shown that lifestyle factors, including diet, constitute additional risk affecting TBI consequences and neuropathophysiological outcomes. There exists molecular cross-talk among the pathways involved in neuronal survival, neuroinflammation, and behavioral outcomes, that are shared among western diet (WD) intake and TBI pathophysiology. As such, poor dietary intake would be expected to exacerbate the secondary damage in TBI. Hence, the aim of this review is to discuss the pathophysiological consequences of WD that can lead to the exacerbation of TBI outcomes. We dissect the role of mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neuronal injury in this context. We show that currently available data conclude that intake of a diet saturated in fats, pre- or post-TBI, aggravates TBI, precludes recovery from brain trauma, and reduces the response to treatment.Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.