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In The News: Excess Weight Goes To Your Head

brain scanAn absolutely fascinating study courtesy of the journal Human Brain Mapping — “obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals [and] their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals.”

Those in the overweight category, meanwhile, have “4 percent less brain tissue [and] brains [that] appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.”

The neurosurgeons who conducted the study noted that obesity has a particularly depleting effect on cognitive reserves, increasing one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Also of note — “obese people had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long-term memory) and basal ganglia (movement).”

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3 Comments

  1. susan said on September 18th, 2009

    One blog author speculated that it was perhaps because obese people tend to go on (sometimes very low calorie) diets often. Brain tissue is depleted by starvation.

  2. Andy Bellatti said on September 18th, 2009

    That’s certainly an interesting take!

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