Thursday February 21, 2019

Obesity May Leads to Reduced Cognitive Function

People who are overweight do not perform as well on tests of memory and visuospatial ability compared to those with an average weight.

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Obesity, Asthma
Asthma may up obesity risk. Pixabay

Being obese in older age may lead to poor brain health as higher waist-hip ratio was associated with reduced cognitive function, according to a study.

The association could be explained by an increased secretion of inflammatory markers by belly fat, which has been previously associated with a higher risk of impaired cognition.

Previous studies showed that people who are overweight do not perform as well on tests of memory and visuospatial ability compared to those with an average weight.

For the study, the researchers recruited more than 200 participants who were 60 years and older and used Facebook for at least a year.
High BMI reduces learning ability, Pixabay

“While we have known for some time that obesity is associated with negative health consequences, our study adds to emerging evidence suggesting that obesity and where we deposit our excess weight could influence our brain health. This has significant public health implications,” said Conal Cunningham from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Also Read: Obesity Alone Does not Increase Death Risk: Study

For the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team analysed data from over 5,000 individuals.

These findings may have significant implications as the global prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase from 24.3 million in 2001 to 81.1 million by 2040.

Reducing obesity could offer a cost-effective public health strategy for the prevention of cognitive decline, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify Genes Causing Obesity

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species

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obese children
India with 14.4 million had the second highest number of obese children in 2015. Pixabay

Researchers have identified genetic variants associated with obesity that is central to developing targeted interventions to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses like hypertension, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found genetic sites that affect human body’s size and shape, including height and obesity. The findings will help understand how genes can predispose certain individuals to obesity.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers found 24 coding loci (or positions) — 15 common and nine rare — along chromosomes of individuals that predispose to higher waist-to-hip ratio.

Higher values of waist-to-hip ratio are associated with more incidence of diseases associated with obesity.

Obesity can now be cured by our body's natural weighing scales.
Obesity can now be cured by our body’s natural weighing scales.

“For the first time, we were able to examine, on a large scale, how low-frequency and rare variants influence body fat distribution,” said North.

“A better understanding of the genetic underpinnings of body fat distribution may lead to better treatments for obesity and other downstream diseases obesity also impacts, for example Type-2 diabetes and heart disease,” suggested North.

Also Read- PM Narendra Modi Urges Youth to Stay Away From Drug Addiction as it Helps Anti-national Forces

Further analysis revealed pathways and gene sets that influenced not only metabolism but also regulation of body fat tissue, bone growth and adiponectin, a hormone that controls glucose levels and breaks down fat.

Performing functional studies across other organisms, the team also identified two genes that were associated with significant increase in triglyceride and body fat across species. (IANS)