Research published in the journal Neurology, shows that obesity (Body Mass Index of 30 and above) in midlife may cause deterioration of cognitive functions in the brain.
The study was conducted in France over five years, with 2223 healthy men and women between the ages of 32 to 62.
At the beginning of the experiment, in 1996, each participant was asked to take part in a series of cognitive tests (a kind of an “IQ Test”), including, among others things, tests of memory, attention and concentration.
The examiner then recorded the height and weight of each participant.
Five years later, in 2001, researchers returned to each participant and asked him or her to take the same test once again. To the surprise of researchers, they discovered that as a body mass index of the participant was higher – so the results deteriorated to a larger extent, more than in his or her previous test.
In addition, the results of people who were obese, were on average, lower than people who were at a normal weight.
Thus, for example, from a list of 16 subjects who were asked to memorize words, these who managed had a BMI which was lowest (between 15 to 21.5) remembered 9 words (56%); obese group (BMI of 27.7 to 45) remembered seven words only ( 43%).
Lead researcher, Dr. Maxim Carnot, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toulouse in France, explained that “Since obesity causes heart disease and blood vessels disease, its impact may be in the brain’s blood vessels which is causing a decline in the brain cell function.”
Another possibility, he said, is that the body’s resistance to insulin, which is one of the known side effects of obesity, is causing damage to brain cells and causing a decline in their functioning.
“Our findings,” Dr, Carnot added, “demonstrate the urgent need for obesity prevention and weight loss – before it causes brain damage, however small.”
This study is one in many to prove that there is a direct link between health and beauty. Not only a leaner body is considered more attractive, but there are also more healthy and the biological factors the determines what is attractive have proven more than once to have a healthy factor in hidden sight.