"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean..." Dr. Paul Thompson, UCLA Neurologist
We already know that obesity brings many negative social and health effects. More than 300 million worldwide are now classified as obese, according to the World Health Organization. Another billion are overweight.
Obesity is growing, and that is no joke. Obesity is a world-scale health crisis, worse than swine flue, the current flavor of the year disease threat. Swine flu may be coming, yes. Obesity is here!
The main cause, experts say: bad diet, and cheap, highly processed foods. I call it "industrial food." We know about increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and some cancers. We know it breaks down joints and organs and is a crippling voluntary disease.
In this blog I named it a Volunteer condition. Obesity is not forced upon anyone. We know that it's social consequences are terrible; obesity has also been shown to impair many other normal functions, including sexual ability.
But now... Human Brain Mapping reports a new clinical study, a study sending shock waves through the medical and world communities. Scans reveal that obese people have reduced brain mass!
Severe brain degeneration!
That's right. Obese people are found to have 8 percent less brain tissue than normal-weight individuals.
That number is cruel evidence of the results of food addiction.
And if that is not horrific enough... researchers found that obese subject's brains look 16 years older than the brains of normal-weight individuals!
Those not yet in the BMI obese territory of body mass, but still overweight, suffer less damage, but are brain-damaged nonetheless. Obesity is measured by body mass index. A BMI over 25 is defined as overweight, and a BMI of over 30 as obese.
Overweight people have 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appear to have aged prematurely by 8 years.
Dr. Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology, said, "That's a big loss of tissue and it depletes your cognitive reserves, putting you at much greater risk of Alzheimer's and other diseases that attack the brain."
Obese people had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long-term memory) and basal ganglia (movement), the researchers said in a statement today.
Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).
The results, based on brain scans of 94 people in their 70s, represent "severe brain degeneration."
If someone you know, someone you love--- and that might be yourself--- is in the grip of a food addiction, or is obese, let this brain study be the ultimate reality check!
Dr. Thompson says there is hope: "You can greatly reduce your risk for Alzheimer's, if you can eat healthily and keep your weight under control."