NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, February 26, 2016, 11:41 AM
That spare tire around your waist may also be weighing down your memory.
Experts believe that added fat changes the structure and function of the brain, including its ability to recall past events with episodic memory.
Researchers at University of Cambridge asked adults to play a “treasure hunt” computer game — and the ones with higher body mass indexes were less able to remember the location of hidden items than those with lower BMIs.
“A higher BMI is having some reduction on the vividness of memory,” study author Dr. Lucy Cheke told BBC News. “But they’re not drawing blanks and having amnesia.”
But this lack of total recall can tip the scale against an obese person who is trying to lose weight if he doesn’t remember what he ate.
“If they have a less strong memory of a recent meal, with a less strong impact in the mind, then they may have less ability to regulate how much they eat later on,” added Dr. Cheke. “We are certainly beginning to observe the mechanisms that obesity perpetuates itself. Hopefully knowing what’s going on will help us to develop ways of helping people.”
It was unclear what exactly about carrying extra fat changes brain function, but the results back previous research that has linked obesity with dysfunction in areas of the brain involved with memory, decision making, problem solving and emotions.
In the meantime, try to eat less: The Welsh government said on Thursday that watching your weight and being more physically active can reduce your risk of dementia by 60%.