Obesity Could Have An Impact On Brain Health
Associating obesity and the human brain is a subject that scientists have recently started to study.
There is research that says there is a connection between our brains and extra pounds that you wouldn’t have guessed.
It seems that carrying extra body fat, especially around the middle, could be linked to brain shrinkage. A recent study determined obesity by measuring body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio and found that participants with higher ratios of both measures had the lowest brain volume.
Meanwhile, another study shows that the prefrontal cortex – a section of the brain that is important both for complex thinking as well as for processed planning and self-control is less active in people that have a tendency to overeat, which can lead to obesity and weight gain. Researchers want to point out that the problem is not that obesity causes these problems in the structure and function of the brain, but more a reciprocity – in the sense that the differences that appeared in the structure and function of the brain can cause obesity.
Moreover, it seems that we have a network of brain cells in our brains that can fight against the tendency to overeat, when this network is activated it works as a control tower in regards to detecting overeating and the need to keep eating stops.
Scientists examined the brain scans of over 12.000 people that participated in these studies, and discovered that the bigger the body fat percent, the smaller the volume of gray matter in the brain. However, it seems that these associations are different in the cases of men and women, suggesting that gender is an important factor that alters the association between the total body fat percent and the size of the brain. The conclusion would be that the more fat there is in the body, the less gray matter in the brain.