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Study suggests that being overweight is linked to low IQ

With that said, there is still no conclusion if brain development is affected by a bad diet.

  • Overweight children will most likely be obese when they reach adulthood
  • Children who are overweight are more likely to be less intelligent and do worse during tests

University of Vermont scientists did a study that focused on the correlation between overweight children and low intelligence quotient (IQ).

Dr. Jennifer Laurent examined the scan results of 3,190 children who were from ages 9 to 10.

The study found that children who were overweight, or those who had a higher body mass index (BMI), did worse during exams and tests.

The outer layer of these children’s brains, that is responsible for memory and decision, were found to be much thinner.

With that said, there is still no conclusion if brain development is affected by a bad diet.

Laurent says that having high BMI affects the brain in some way.

“These findings suggest BMI is associated with alterations in prefrontal cortex development and diminished executive function. Deficits in working memory may contribute to poor dietary decisions.”

If the BMI problems do not get addressed early, then this will transition into adulthood which can lead to worse medical problems.

“Once established, these associations may become mutually reinforcing and contribute to ongoing health issues that persist into adulthood.”

Professor Naveed Sattar, from the University of Glasgow, says that the study is legit but does not hold enough weight to conclude that weight alters brain functions.

“This paper is provocative but it cannot be taken as saying excess weight causes these memory or brain differences.”

Children who are overweight are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and heart problems since data suggests that these children also have higher chances of becoming obese when they reach adulthood.

A similar study was also published back in 2006. French scientists had 2,200 respondents examined and found that there is a good correlation between obesity and a decline in cognitive function.

Respondents with a BMI of 20 or lower were able to remember 56% of the words in the vocabulary test that were asked of them to take.

But those who were overweight or obese, with a BMI of 30 or more, only remembered 44%.

Lead researcher Dr. Maxime Cournot, an assistant professor in clinical epidemiology at Toulouse University Hospital, said that hormones that are coming from fat can damage cerebral cells which cause an alteration in cognitive function.

“Another explanation could be that since obesity is a widely known cardiovascular risk factor, due to the thickening and hardening of the blood vessels, that the same happens with the arteries in the brain.”

Dr. David Haslam, the clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, says that obesity is a real problem as it affects an individual significantly.

“It goes to show obesity affects every single organ in the human body.”

Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory minister, says that the research is inaccurate.


“You just need to look around the world and you will see hundreds of thin nitwits and clever fat people. When I lost weight it was my waistline that improved, not my cerebellum.”

Written by paulie walnuts

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