Excess Body Fat Reduces Cognition, Research Finds

Excess Body Fat Reduces Cognition News

Health News – Research provides insight into the relationship between greater body fat and weaker cognition in obesity. The findings can be included in strategies that reduce excessive body fat to preserve cognitive function in adults.

A new study reveals the links between obesity and reduced cognitive functioning. It was conducted at McMaster University.

The study had two phases: the Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Healthy Minds (CAHHM)14 and Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological–Mind (PURE-MIND).

The researchers examined 9189 participants, aged 30–75 years, belonging to different ethnicities. All of them underwent a cardiovascular risk factor assessment and cognitive testing. 9166 participants were measured by bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess their total body fat. 6773 underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of abdominal adipose tissue. The MRI also assessed vascular brain injury in the participants.

The results, published in JAMA Network Open, showed greater body fat is a risk factor for reduced cognition. In obese adults, such cognitive abilities include processing speed, visual scanning, attention, and working memory.

It was also seen that adults, with no prior history of clinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), are significantly associated with reduced cognition—even after adjustment for other cardiovascular risk factors and vascular brain injury. Adjustments in age, ethnicity, and educational level further influenced the differences in the results between obese men and women.

The lead author, Sonia Anand, said, “Our results suggest that strategies to prevent or reduce having too much body fat may preserve cognitive function.”

The researchers are enthusiastic that the findings can be used to suggest health plans that preserve cognition by maintaining healthy weight and body fat percentage. Such plans (providing specifications about nutrition and physical activity) can help prevent dementia and other disorders in old age.

To Know More You May Refer To

Anand, S. S., Friedrich, M. G., Lee, D. S., Awadalla, P., Després, J. P., Desai, D., de Souza, R. J., Dummer, T., Parraga, G., Larose, E., Lear, S. A., Teo, K. K., Poirier, P., Schulze, K. M., Szczesniak, D., Tardif, J. C., Vena, J., Zatonska, K., Yusuf, S., Smith, E. E., … Canadian Alliance of Healthy Hearts and Minds (CAHHM) and the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) Study Investigators (2022). Evaluation of Adiposity and Cognitive Function in Adults. JAMA network open, 5(2), e2146324. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.46324

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