Friday, July 15, 2016

Being fat "reduces attention, working memory, executive function, inhibitory control and increases the risk of developing early onset dementia."

There's nothing good about being fat/I have felt stupider this past year.

Does fat affect your brain? Study finds obese have less grey and white matter in key areas | National Post: "A tiny but provocative Canadian-led study suggests overweight and obese people have significantly less grey and white matter in key brain regions, offering what the researchers believe is a “biologically plausible explanation” for why heavier people tend to have reduced cognitive functioning, greater impulsivity and “altered reward processing.” The study is based on sophisticated brain images of 32 otherwise healthy adult volunteers recruited from two Baltimore neighbourhoods, and the researchers did not test their subjects’ mental acuity or performance. However, the findings appear to fit with mounting evidence linking higher body mass with poorer impulse control and other “cognitive deficits” that may undercut a person’s efforts to lose weight. “It has been suggested that body composition itself might somehow affect the neural systems that underlie cognition, motivation, self-control and salience processing, which would in turn affect one’s ability to make better lifestyle choices,” the researchers write, for example, “forgoing immediate and/or highly salient rewards for the sake of longer-term health and wellness goals.” Other researchers have linked obesity to accelerated, age-related brain shrinkage and early-onset dementia."

Frontiers | Effects of Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percent on Default Mode, Executive Control, and Salience Network Structure and Function | Neuroenergetics, Nutrition and Brain Health: "Negative associations between obesity, physical health, and life expectancy are common knowledge, but more recent studies have also shown that, on average, being overweight: (1) reduces attention, working memory, executive function, and inhibitory control among otherwise healthy participants, and (2) increases the risk of developing early onset dementia. The current experiment employed advanced neuroimaging techniques and two different body composition measures to establish possible mechanisms for obesity-related cognitive, behavioral, and neural differences among healthy adults. The neural systems that showed consistent associations with body composition (i.e., across multiple functional and structural neuroimaging modalities) offer a biologically plausible mechanism for reduced cognitive performance and self-control among overweight individuals. In particular, our results indicate that higher BMI and BFP are associated with increased functional connectivity, decreased regional gray and white matter volumes, and decreased white matter microstructure throughout regions and networks known to subserve cognitive, salience, and reward processing functions. Therefore, interpreted in the context of previous research, these findings suggest that changes in body composition may be cyclically (causally) related to alterations in brain structure and function that could decrease self-control and promote further unhealthy behavior."

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