Study suggests link between being overweight and having poorer memory

Study Suggests Link Between Being Overweight And Having Poorer Memory

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have found evidence to suggest a link between poorer memory and being overweight.

Their findings support previous research that associates excess body weight with less than optimal functioning of the brain—the hippocampus and frontal lobe in particular. Those are the areas which regulate memory and decision-making, respectively.

Dr. Lucy Cheke noted, "Increasingly, we're beginning to see that memory – especially episodic memory, the kind where you mentally relive a past event – is also important. How vividly we remember a recent meal, for example today's lunch, can make a difference to how hungry we feel and how much we are likely to reach out for that tasty chocolate bar later on."

Fifty individuals with low to high body mass indexes (BMI) were tested on how well they fared performing a task that required hiding objects and remembering where they were over a certain timeframe.

The researchers found that participants with higher BMIs were less successful at performing the task.

According to a summary of the findings, "This was a small, preliminary study and so the researchers caution that further research will be necessary to establish whether the results of this study can be generalized to overweight individuals in general, and to episodic memory in everyday life rather than in experimental conditions."

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