Monday, 18 March, 2019

Examine Finds Hyperlink Between Excessive Waist-To-Hip Ratio And Smaller Brains

Brains think more clearly when we're not overworking ourselves. By taking a break from work you'll experience more Overweight people have smaller brains, study suggests
Ben Pena | 12 January, 2019, 18:39

The study, from the United Kingdom, found that people who were obese and had a high waist-to-hip ratio (a measure of belly fat) had slightly lower brain volumes, on average, compared with people who were a healthy weight.

Participants had their body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio compared with their brain volumes for the research by Loughborough University.

"Previous studies have shown associations between gray matter atrophy and risk of developing dementia", study author Mark Hamer, a professor of exercise as medicine at Loughborough University in England, wrote in an email.

The study looked at more than 9,600 people across Britain, with an average age of 55.

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However, the study found only an association between belly fat and lower brain volume, and can not prove that carrying more fat around the waist actually causes brain shrinkage. Based on these criteria, almost one in five of the study participants was found to be obese.

Using a technique called magnetic resonance imaging, researchers studied the volumes of white and grey brain matter and volumes in various regions of the brain.

If someone is both obese and apple-shaped, carrying more weight around their middle than on their hips, a study has found they have a smaller 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). Meanwhile, 3,025 people with overall health scores had an average grey matter volume of 798 cubic centimetres. All of these brain regions are involved in motivation and reward. "One particularly interesting finding is that, among individuals with obesity, those with greater waist to hip ratio (a marker of visceral fat around the abdomen), showed even lower gray matter volume", Bohon said.

'The study adds to existing evidence highlighting a link between a healthy weight and a healthy brain, but the researchers didn't look at whether participants went on to develop diseases like Alzheimer's and this will need to be explored in future research'. Because the study only analyzed body fat and brain images at a single point in time for all of the participants, it's also possible that the reverse effect could be occurring, and that brain changes are responsible for changing eating habits and satiety and therefore driving the increase in body fat.

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