Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Obese People Have 'Severe Brain Degeneration'

  1. #1

    Obese People Have 'Severe Brain Degeneration'

    A new study finds obese people have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals. Their brains look 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals, researchers said today.

    Those classified as overweight have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.

    The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration," said Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology.

    "That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain," said Thompson. "But you can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control."

    The findings are detailed in the online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping.

    Obesity packs many negative health effects, including increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. It's also been shown to reduce sexual activity.

    More than 300 million worldwide are now classified as obese, according to the World Health Organization. Another billion are overweight. The main cause, experts say: bad diet, including an increased reliance on highly processed foods.

    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), the researchers said in a statement today. Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).

    "The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked 8 years older," Thompson said.

    Obesity is measured by body mass index (BMI), defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. A BMI over 25 is defined as overweight, and a BMI of over 30 as obese.

    The research was funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Center for Research Resources, and the American Heart Association.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lurch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    nq australia
    This makes me think of a friend of mine who has always struggled with his weight but since getting married has really whacked on the pounds. Despite being a generally very intelligent guy his short term memory and ability to plan is terrible and he doesn't even smoke weed.

  3. #3
    jhope, I don't believe this, not because I don't think that obesity is bad for the brain for because I don't think that they have any measure of how "good" or "bad" a brain looks for its age. I have seen a lot of brains and you can't tell... Many people with horrendous looking brains are really smarter than most. Likewise, I am sure that many people with beautiful "young" looking brains are not so smart. Intelligence and ability is not related to the size of the brain, nor even the number of neurons in the brain. This is of course within the limits of pathology. At some point, somebody's brain may be so atrophied that it is likely to reflect in functional changes.

    In my opinion, I think studies like these are flawed. Instead of handwaving about how the brains look, why don't they show some real intelligence measures of people who are obese and in the 70's compared to those who are not obese and in their 70's. This is unscientific.

    It is bad enough that our society imposes a stigma on obesity but to superimpose upon the implication that obesity causes stupidity is really not good or fair. Many obese people are smart. Many skinny people are not so smart. I'll bet you anything that the professor who wrote this paper is thin.


  4. #4
    Senior Member BigK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Guns don't kill people. Daddys with cute daughters do!

  5. #5

    You are what you eat.

    Have you looked at your refrigerator recently?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Have you looked at your refrigerator recently?

    That can't be your frig dr young I don't see any bai jui in there

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Imight View Post
    That can't be your frig dr young I don't see any bai jui in there
    I notice that there is some Maggi sauce. Wise.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-09-2008, 11:27 PM
  2. Brain Experts Now Follow the Money
    By antiquity in forum Health & Science News
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-16-2003, 10:07 PM
  3. How Brain Death Works
    By Max in forum Life
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-22-2002, 10:23 AM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-18-2002, 07:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts