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September 14, 2018

Being overweight might make you dumber, a new study suggests

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Obesity has a negative effect on one’s cognitive ability, researchers have concluded after experimenting with mice.

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, being overweight correlates with reduced cognitive function.

“Obesity in humans correlates with reduced cognitive function. To investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying this, we used diet-induced obesity in mice and found impaired performance on cognitive tests of hippocampal function,” the researchers wrote.

They added that obesity-associated cognitive decline might be caused by cells called microglia. Follow us on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, to learn more.

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“These deficits were accompanied by reduced numbers of dendritic spines, increased microglial activation, and increased synaptic profiles within microglia,” the study states.

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A GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUE

The research noted that obesity affects more than 600 million people around the world. This staggering number appears to be on the rise, making it a substantial global health issue.

“One of the lesser known consequences of obesity is its deleterious effects on cognition, an effect that has been well-documented across many cognitive domains and age groups,” the study noted.

Health experts have raised the alarm over obesity among children.

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A recent study on childhood obesity in the US indicates that the number of affected children has increased, contrary to previous reports claiming that the incidence of this health problem had declined.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO OBESITY

A combination of lifestyle factors, such as poor eating habits and lack of exercise or calorie-packed school lunches, continue to increase obesity, wrote David S. Ludwig, M.D., professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

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Ludwig’s conclusions were shared an editorial piece that accompanies the alarming study published on February 26, 2018, by the medical journal Pediatrics.

American children continue to gain excessive weight, with the most pronounced increase in obesity occurring among children from 2 to 5 years of age, the study shows.

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Researchers evaluated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drawn from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 children.

They compared the body mass index (BMI) reported in 2013 and 2014 with the BMI reported in 2015 and 2016. What they found is extremely worrisome.

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