It is well-known that being overweight can put great stress on the organs, heart and joints, but according to latest studies we are now learning that obesity is linked to brain health and can affect cognitive abilities. Therefore, obesity as lethal as it is can generate serious complications both physically and mentally. This means body weight can indeed affect your memory. To understand more, let’s take a look at how body weight affects brain health and memory.
How Body Weight Affects Brain Health?
A research conducted at the University of Washington revealed that people who carry excess weight may induce physical changes in the brain that make it difficult to control eating habits, thus leading to more obesity. Additionally, obesity can also change how the brain responses to stress, tension and anxiety. Therefore, oftentimes when obese people find themselves in a difficult situation, their brain forces them into eating more ultimately resulting in binge eating, thus gaining more weight.
But, that’s not all. A team of researchers from the University of California discovered that elderly, obese individuals had 8 percent lesser brain volume, as compared to those with normal weight. That being said, having more belly fat is directly associated to a decrease in the total brain volume in middle-aged adults. This is because extra fat releases hormones that are responsible for triggering inflammation, thus influencing the brain negatively.
Further studies indicated that visceral fat is responsible for reducing brain size as well. According to previous researches, it has been revealed that people with smaller brain volumes and sizes even have a higher risk for dementia. Some years ago, scientists had even determined that fat releases leptin, and this hormone affects Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and appetite. More than that, in obese people leptin affects the processes going into the brain, thus compromising learning and memory power.
A group of scientists claimed that low levels of ‘leptin’ are also associated to cognitive deficit in patients who suffer with disorders like Type-2 diabetes. This explains why diabetics often have trouble remembering things as obesity affects their long-term memory. Another finding that belongs to the geriatric team at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine revealed that mice receiving leptin were better able to navigate through a maze.
They also found that leptin works better in older mice as compared to younger ones. Therefore, with all of this research and findings it is clear that obesity can result in a big loss of tissue, lower levels of leptin and smaller brain volumes, which in turn can deplete your cognitive reserves, thus putting you at greater risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases that attack the brain. Professor Paul Thompson said that even kids that suffer from obesity may also suffer from poor memory.
In fact, a study by the University of Chicago revealed that kids who are overweight are at risks of cognitive impairment. However, people who find themselves overweight or obese will feel relieved to know that there is a solution to prevent all of these damages to your brain and help restore cognitive function. And, this solution comes in the form of weight loss. Yes, it is true! A research published in the Journal of the American Nutrition confirms that cognitive functions can be restored through weight loss.
Authors of this study even examined 50 obese individuals regarding their brain health, measuring their cognitive and memory before and after weight loss. Those who were successful in getting rid of all their excess fat and weight were able to achieve improved grip strength and better brain function and memory. So, if you want to avoid all of these problems mentioned above, then perhaps it’s time you follow an effective weight loss program as well.