Overweight people have smaller brains, study suggests
People who carry too much weight around their middle have smaller brains, scientists have found for the first time.
Researchers from Loughborough University and University College London discovered that people with a high body mass index (BMI) and high waist-to-hip ratio had brains that were 12 cubic cm smaller than people of a healthy weight.
Dr Mark Hamer, professor of exercise as medicine at Loughbourough, said it could explain why people who are overweight are more likely to develop dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.
"Our research looked at a large group of people and found obesity, specifically around the middle, may be linked with brain shrinkage," he said. "While our study found obesity was associated with lower gray matter brain volumes, it's unclear if abnormalities in brain structure lead to obesity or if obesity leads to these changes in the brain."