Can Being Overweight Affect Your Memory?

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Obesity is linked to a wide and growing range of health problems and now, it seems, you can add memory loss to that list. According to a recent study, individuals who are obese or overweight have a worse memory than thinner people.

Can Being Overweight Affect Your Memory?
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Tests on 50 clinically obese people showed that being overweight was linked to worse “episodic memory,” or the ability to recall past experiences.

The study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, said that the inability to recall some details of recent meals may also lead to overeating. But other aspects of memory, like general knowledge, were not affected.

The recent study looked at episodic memory, the image in your mind, that remembers the the feel of holding someone’s hand or smell of a cup of coffee.

The researchers tested 50 people with a body mass index or BMI ranging from 18, which is healthy, to 51, which is very obese. The two groups took part in a memory test.


They were asked to “hide” objects at different times with different screens displayed on a computer. The were later asked to recall what they had hidden and where they had placed it. The results was, the obese individuals scored 15% lower compared to the thinner test subjects.

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The researchers concluded that the higher BMI is having some reduction on the vividness or sharpness of memory, but they’re not having amnesia or drawing blanks.


The researchers concluded that scientists know that hunger hormones play a large role in how much food people consume, but they also know that the human mind plays a key role as well.

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It is too early reach a conclusion but the researchers are certainly beginning to observe the mechanisms that obesity maintains itself. “Concentrating on your food has been a message for a long time, but that can be a bit difficult if you are overweight.

Also in another study, the WorldLifeExpectancy website reported that weight loss can improve memory function. A report, which was published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, showed a study, wherein a evidence suggests that obesity is linked to a number of cognitive deficits, including that of memory loss.

The study found that obesity acts against a number of different metabolic pathways which can affect the way humans process information. Obesity may affect a number of physiological mechanisms that have adverse effects on the brain as stated by John Gunstad of Kent State University.

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