Overweight people are, as we already know, exposed to many health issues, including heart disorders, among others. However, more surprising than any of the overweight’s harmful consequences, extra belly fat causes the brain to shrink, as reported in a new study.
The new research that links extra belly fat to “brain shrink” revealed that abdominal fatty tissues are negatively impacting brain functions, causing neurological conditions.
“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,” said Mark Hamer of Loughborough University in England, the study’s leading author.
Other previous studies also linked extra belly fat with the decline in some types of brain cells, but no other research revealed that abdominal body in excess could cause the brain to shrink.
Extra Belly Fat Causes The Brain To Shrink, A New Study Revealed
According to the new study, having both a high BMI with a high waist-to-hip ratio is the most concerning fact. Out of the about 10,000 participants in this study, about 1,300 people presented both elevated BMI and waist-to-hip ratio. These subjects presented a grey matter brain volume of just 786 cubic centimeters. That lower in comparison with the estimates in patients with healthy BMI and weight.
“We also found links between obesity and shrinkage in specific regions of the brain. This will need further research, but it may be possible that someday regularly measuring BMI and waist-to-hip ratio may help determine brain health,” said Mark Hamer.
Even though this study shows a potential relationship between extra belly fat and “brain shrink,” the researchers admitted that there is much more to debate on this topic. Further studies might reveal more about why is that happening. In the meantime, we should adopt a healthy, balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight.