Sunday, 20 January, 2019


Study Finds Link Between High Waist-To-Hip Ratio And Smaller Brains

Scientists have learned more about the brain in the past 10 years than in all other time periods combined. Take a look at these discoveries to see how to improve your memory and boost your mental power Overweight people have smaller brains, study suggests
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2019, 18:43

People with a high waist-to-hip ratio can be men with beer bellies or women with "muffin tops" who have slimmer hips compared to their abdomen.

The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that after adjusting for other factors that may affect brain volume, such as age, physical activity, smoking and high blood pressure, participants with a high BMI had a slightly lower grey matter volume than those with a healthy BMI.

Their brain may already have shrunk, causing them to pile on weight after losing grey matter in the brain regions which help to control your appetite and feel full.

Those who had a high BMI and held the fat around their stomach had the lowest average grey matter brain volume of 786 cubic cm, compared with people of healthy weight who had an average grey matter brain volume of 798 cubic cm.

"It's unclear if abnormalities in brain structure lead to obesity or if obesity leads to these changes in the brain", study author Mark Hamer said in a statement.

Of the 9,652 people studied, 19 per cent were determined to be obese.

To find that out, researchers would have to follow the same people over time and record changes in body weight and brain volume.

"Existing research has linked brain shrinkage to memory decline and a higher risk of dementia, but research on whether extra body fat is protective or detrimental to brain size has been inconclusive".

Findings of a new study that involved almost 10,000 people now provide evidence that having excessive fat around the middle may also be bad for the brain. White matter contains nerve fiber bundles that connect various regions of the brain. However, excess weight was associated with shrinkage in specific regions of the brain: the pallidum, nucleus accumbens, putamen (linked only to a higher BMI) and caudate (linked only to a higher waist-to-hip ratio).

They found no significant differences in brain volumes of white matter.

Future research should explore inflammation, nutrition and vascular health to better understand potential links between brain health and obesity, she said. Potential causes of lower brain volume Cara Bohon, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, wrote in an email that the study's findings are "not particularly new or surprising".

A limitation of the study was that only 5% of those invited to participate ended up taking part, the researchers pointed out.

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