Current study: obesity affects memory

Current study: obesity affects memory

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Association between high BMI and memory disorders found
Obesity is a problem that affects more and more people these days. Many people eat too unhealthily and exercise too little. The consequences of this are that we can gain more and more weight and eventually even become obese. Obesity has a major impact on our health, and many complications and serious physical problems can result from obesity. Researchers have now found that obesity even seems to have a negative impact on our memory.

Obesity has negative consequences for physical health and general wellbeing. These impairments have been known for years. In a new study, scientists from the University of Cambridge, however, now found that obesity doesn't just affect our bodies. Our brain is also affected by the disease. Obesity can lead to poorer episodic memory. The experts published their study in the journal "Journal of Experimental Psychology".

Obesity disrupts certain cognitive tasks
University of Cambridge researchers have found a link between being overweight and having poor memory. A high body mass index (BMI) in young adults could lead to certain cognitive tasks being disrupted, the doctors say. This makes it more difficult for those affected to remember past events. In their study, the scientists examined fifty subjects. All test subjects were between 18 and 35 years old and had a body mass index of 18 to 51. A BMI in the range of 18-25 is considered healthy, with a BMI of 25 to 30 we are overweight, a BMI over 30 is considered obese, the researchers explain. The memory of the participants was tested through a "treasure hunt task". In this task, the test subjects were asked to hide certain objects in a computer simulation. Then the test subjects were asked which objects they had hidden and where they had hidden these objects. It was found that people with a higher body mass index generally had poorer memory, the experts explain.

People eat more when they are distracted by television or work
Obesity and obesity are a rapidly growing problem in our day and age. According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight in 2014. About 600 million of these people were obese. Overall, the number of people with obesity has doubled since 1980 and is expected to continue to rise sharply in the coming decades, the doctors suspect. We need to understand what influences our consumption and how we can instinctively regulate our diet. This is the only way we can prevent obesity from spreading further, says Dr. Lucy Cheke from the University of Cambridge. We generally tend to eat more when we are distracted by television or our work. Then there are also people who eat a lot when they are sad, explains the expert.

Episodic memory can affect our hunger
Obesity affects the hippocampus in particular. This area of ​​the brain links memory and learning. The department is also responsible for our decision-making, problem solving and the design of emotions, the scientists explain. When people have poorer memories, they tend to forget a meal more often. For this reason, such people eat more and then gain more and more weight, the experts say. Episodic memory is particularly important, it enables us to relive events from our past. It can make a big difference how vividly we remember our last meal. For example, if we remember our lunch today, it affects our later hunger. It is possible that our memory prevents us from reaching for a chocolate bar in between, explains Dr. Cheke.

Obese people are less able to remember past details
We are not saying that all overweight people are more forgetful. But if these results can be generalized from memory, overweight people may be less able to vividly remember details of past events, the doctors explain. This can include your past meals, for example. So being overweight could make it increasingly difficult to remember what and how much we ate. This makes it more likely to overeat. The researchers suspect that a better understanding of the causes of obesity can help eliminate the problem. This would make a big difference to our physical and mental health and this would have a positive effect on our overall well-being, the experts say. (as)

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