How does being overweight affect your brain?

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You are what you eat. In fact, as new studies continue showing how diet affects the brain, you think what you eat as well. Being overweight has serious health repercussions, like heart disease and diabetes, but you may not know about what it does to the brain. This isn’t just a raised risk of some disease further down the line (although that is also true) either. Being overweight causes problems for your brain that affect you today.

Numerous factors can cause undue weight gain, like your diet, how active you are and how much sleep you get. When your body loses Insulin Efficiency, all sorts of trouble gets started.

Your brain shrinks and ages

It’s true; being overweight actually makes your brain smaller. On top of that, the cells in your brain deteriorate more rapidly than normal, causing them to look like those of of someone older. According to the research published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, brains of overweight individuals look 8 years older. Brains of obese people look 16 years older.

If you were 32 and overweight but not obese, your brain would like you were 40.

And your brain would have 4% less brain tissue in it! It would have 8% less tissue if you were obese!

Don’t think 4% of your brain tissue isn’t a big issue. The “we only use 10% of our brains” line is a myth perpetuated by Hollywood and popular culture. Your brain is complex and works best when it is all there. Less brain is bad.

How bad?

The Women’s Health Initiative was a colossal undertaking. It compiled data from over 160,000 adult women after tracking a multitude of aspects from their health for 15 solid years. With that much information to draw from, some strong conclusions were sure to follow.

One of the most intriguing results appeared when comparing the results of cognitive tests for overweight women and those from women who were more fit. Normally, it might be hard to isolate a particular aspect of health from others, especially when considering how any one particular thing reacts with our brains. With so many participants, though, researchers were able to take into account diabetes, high blood pressure and other factors that might have skewed results.

In the end, being overweight, in and of itself, caused people to score lower on tests of cognitive abilities. For each point that Body Mass Index (BMI) dropped, so did cognitive ability.

Brain Days

Losing weight is not something that should be put off. If you’re overweight, there are problems affecting you right now that you might not even be aware of. Your brain is shrinking, your memory can be affected, and you don’t function as well. It’s something that causes trouble now.

The Olumia Life Nutrition, Fitness and Sleep plans address the needs of your body and use the latest research findings to help you build lasting habits to contribute to prolonged, complete health. Losing weight is not so simple as putting down the ice cream cone (although that does help). Your body is a complex machine with interconnected systems affecting each other. The best actually doable course of exercise, diet and rest, however, can optimize these connections to your advantage.

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