When you pile on the pounds, the majority of us know the risks and the side-effects of doing so. We are more likely to be out of breath, at risk of diabetes, and other negative connotations. But how many of us know that being obese can have an impact on our brains? There are a few studies out there that suggest just that. The brain can change, which can make overeating more likely. So it can become a bit of a vicious circle.
Here are some of the ways that being obese can affect your brain. Hopefully, it can help you to deal with your weight and help those around you that may be affected by obesity.
When we gain weight, especially if it has come from eating for pleasure, it can desensitize our brain from that eating pleasure. So in order to feel like we did before when we ate cookies, we will want to eat more and more. It is a similar thing that we see with drug-addicts; they need more and more to get the same high. A study from the Journal of Neuroscience put this to the test and found that over a short amount of time (six months), this effect with food and how our brain reacts did happen.
It has been shown by the American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Academy that obese children have a shrunken region of the brain that is in control of impulses, compared to slender children of the same age. Which is quite scary when you think about it. What you are eating and what your body’s like can actually change how impulsive you are. It could be due to the inflammation of the brain that can come from being obese, but it is a cycle that keeps going on and on. The more you eat, the more likely you are to keep eating.
Obesity has shown to cause memory loss in some people, particularly in women of a certain age (menopausal). It is all down to hormones and how the hormones react to your body being overweight. The hormones can lead to inflammation, which can put pressure on the brain. A lack of sleep can also be a side effect of being obese, through something called sleep apnea. If you know someone who suffers with this, then you can learn more about it online. But it can even deprive them of oxygen for a short amount of time when they sleep, which can affect how their function and think.
According to the Annals of Neurology journal, if you have more fat, particularly on your belly, then you’re much more likely to have a decrease in the size of your brain. Scary, right? The more fat you have in your body, the more pressure and inflammation that you will get as a result. This can impact the brain, as well as lead to more fat surrounding the brain, as it doesn’t discriminate where it goes.