While it’s common knowledge that being overweight isn’t healthy, it may come as a surprise to learn it’s impact on memory.
It appears that changes to the brain, which occur as a side effect of obesity, actually may cause harm to memory. In addition it may also cause people to eat more and continue to gain weight. This according to a new study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Researchers are suggesting that those who are overweight actually have a lower likelihood of remembering their previous meals and may overeat as a result. The health professionals involved in the study based some of their findings on date collected in previous studies showing that obesity negatively impacts the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain associated with memory and learning. The frontal lobe of the brain is also responsible for problem solving, decision making and emotions.
The study consisted of 50 participants ranging in age from 18 to 35 and within a BMI 18 to 51. Participants ranged in body types and weights and those with a BMI of 30 or more fall into the obese category.
Their memory was tested by taking part in treasure hunt games on a computer. They would hide objects and then take part in memory tests the next few days which would require them to find where the items were hidden and when.
When all the information was gathered and tested, those with a higher BMI were outperformed by those with a lower BMI.
Researchers still have more testing to do but this shows us that memory is something that is more important than we thought and is something we rely on in our daily lives.