Monday, August 24, 2009

Study: Fat people have smaller brains

A UCLA study shows "brain regions key to cognition are smaller in older people who are obese" and "people with higher body mass indexes had smaller brains on average." (New Scientist)

Why? No one knows. One theory is that, in overweight people blood circulation is poor, leading to less blood and oxygen reaching the brain. Another theory is that smaller brains are the cause, not the result of obesity. According to one expert, "brain atrophy in the frontal and temporal lobes, which also control eating behavior and metabolism, could cause weight gain."

So what? Well, a smaller brain isn't better than a big one, so that's another good reason to control your weight. And researchers believe a shrinking brain sets you up for dementia later in life.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.