Many people have likely observed that their body tends to gain weight considerably more quickly as they age while maintaining the current shape becomes a more difficult task.
Most gym experts and health professionals will argue that this happens because our body parts age with us, and they are no longer to output the same performance in the present.
A new study doesn’t agree with these theories and claims that weight gain and a higher body mass may signal something else: brain aging. It is harder to stay in shape as the strength of the muscles will start to decrease when you are older. Researchers from the Miller School of Medicine, the University of Miami, explored the associations between brain aging and lower physical performance.
Obesity Can Affect The Brain
Data obtained during the study infers that a higher body mass is linked to a cortical thinning of the cerebral cortex, an event which occurs naturally as we age. The cortical thinning will boost cognitive decline rates, a phenomenon which also increases the risk of developing dementia.
During the study, the researchers examined almost 1,300 patients with an average age of approximately 64 years old. Participants with a larger waist and higher BMI numbers were more prone to cortical thinning, suggesting that obesity can increase the rate at which gray matter decays. The links were particularly visible in the case of participants who were under the age of 65, reinforcing a theory which claims that poor health indicators during the midlife may signal brain aging and related problems at an older age.
Obesity is a global issue, and many countries struggle with it as they aim to impose harsher health guidelines in an attempt to mitigate the problem. The main contributor to the study hopes that the results will motivate some people to lose weight, as the change may have positive effects on the brain. However, further research is needed before a definite connection will be established.