Obesity slows the mind

Scientists have shown that excess weight can have a negative influence on your mind. I believe this is 100% true. Whenever I let myself go (for a short while) I always feel terrible, miserable and my thinking slows to a degree. However, when I exercise regularly, eat well and lose that weight I feel sharper in the mind and lighter in the body. Could there be a direct correlation between obesity and the swathes of Australians who suffer depression?

A number of studies in recent years have shown that individuals with diseases linked to obesity, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, don’t score as well on cognitive tests as less hefty individuals do. To test whether weight alone — and not disease — might be partially responsible, John Gunstad of Kent State University in Ohio and his colleagues recruited 150 obese individuals for a series of cognitive tests. These people weighed on average just under 300 pounds, although some were substantially heavier.

Obese individuals in the new study initially performed on the low end of the normal range for healthy individuals from the database on average, Gunstad says, although nearly one-quarter of the obese participants’ scores on memory and learning actually fell within what researchers consider the impaired range.

At least some of these impairments appear reversible through weight loss. Researchers also report one likely mechanism for those cognitive deficits: damage to the wiring that links the brain’s information-processing regions.

Source: Obesity Messes With The Brain (sciencenews.org)

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Categories: Health, Medicine, People

Author:Aaron Hackett

Novelist copywriter Online Business Marketing Editor for Intentious.com Online Marketing

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4 Comments on “Obesity slows the mind”

  1. April 3, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    There’s actually a heap of new data about this recently. Just sitting still for more than four hours is bad for your health. Also aerobic exercise improves brain function in all areas, but strength and flexibility exercise have no significant effect.

  2. April 3, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Interesting… So like, weightlifting has no effect on brain function? Also, what bad effect does sitting still for more than 4 hours have? Because in my line of work… in fact most people’s… that’s what we do on a daily basis. And then more still, come home and play Xbox / PS3 / PC / Facebook all night. Grave times ahead?

  3. April 3, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    You know what’s interesting, the source article says that the study went to lengths to make sure they were testing weight alone, and not disease. So it got me thinking, what if obesity isn’t what slows the mind. What if there is actually a loose or general correlation between people with a lower IQ and not having the willpower to control their own weight in the first place? Maybe being overweight is actually a sign of general slowness! How many obese geniuses are there in the world?

    • April 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      Well David Hume is the first intellectual with a bit of extra padding that comes to mind but I can also picture a few rotund Nobel prize winners. Although they were much older when they got their prizes. That said another study found that faster learning was correlated with lower body weight in bees but that could be because the brain is probably the most energy hungry organ in the body. I don’t really know but I am interested in finding out more.

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