As we age part of the brain that helps transmit information, sometimes called “white matter” shrinks. It’s normal and a fact of life, but a study from Cambridge University found that in overweight people that loss is ten times as great than those of normal weight.
While researchers have long known what obesity can do to the body, less is known about what it does to the brain. Indeed, Dr. Lisa Ronan who led the study wasn’t sure if obesity was responsible for the loss of white matter, or if the loss of white matter somehow contributed to obesity.
It is not known what impact the loss of white matter has on cognitive functioning, but the lack of white matter did not seem to affect a person’s ability to perform certain knowledge and understanding tests.
Still, if you are overweight, you shouldn’t ignore that there is a correlation, even if presently not understood, and that it might pay to shed a few extra pounds, if not for your brain, then your body in general.