Obesity Hurts Your Brain
Most of us inherently know that carrying too much body weight is probably deleterious to our health. But most of us think that it primarily leads to heart disease and diabetes, and to be sure this is a legitimate concern, but it’s not all we need to worry about.
Recent studies are demonstrating that obesity is also bad for your brain, and this may turn out to be the most frightening and insidious consequence yet.
A research project at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine evaluated 1,289 people, average age 64, where 27% were considered normal weight, 44% were overweight and 29% were obese, based on the customary interpretation of Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference. They also ran MRI scans of their brains, to create a baseline so they could track any changes.
What they discovered is alarming – six years later, they found a distinct correlation between overweight and thinning of the cortex, a sign of brain degeneration. And, they found that the bigger the waistline, the thinner the brain.
Neurologist Tatiana Rundek, director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Institute, said, “These results are exciting because they raise the possibility that by losing weight, people may be able to stave off aging of their brains and potentially the memory and thinking problems that can come along with brain aging.”
Younger subjects seemed to have a more pronounced impact, suggesting that the earlier we detect and respond to the harmful effects of obesity, the more likely that the person will rebound and restore their brain to more normal status.
Generally, the brain does get thinner with aging, at a measured rate of .01 to .1 millimeters per ten years, so the findings are significant – those who were overweight clocked in at about .1 mm of thinning, in six years rather than ten, almost double the expected rate, while those who were obese more than doubled that rate of brain deterioration. “Our results would indicate that being overweight or obese may accelerate aging in the brain by at least a decade,” Dr. Rundek reported.
This is of course highly distressing, since 60% of our population is overweight and as much as 30% considered obese. This foretells an even more serious neurological epidemic than we presently have, which risks massive suffering, not to mention draining our financial resources, if nothing is done to prevent it.
That’s why the chiropractic wellness lifestyle is more than just a good idea. If you care about a healthy later life, and you want the same for your friends and family, let’s seize this moment to re-route our health objectives to retain a better BMI and waist circumference – it will pay off in a healthier brain, a longer life, and less health expense.
Staying healthy may not be all that complicated, but it requires that we raise our standards, develop better beliefs and choose winning strategies for optimal well-being. Take responsibility now, before it’s too late — spread the word of brain-based wellness, and take action to safeguard your health future and the future of those you care about.