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Does obesity affect your memory?

A new study from Indiana University has found that memory training has only a third of the benefit to older adults with obesity than it does to their normal weight counterparts. The researchers followed cognition over a period of 10 years and compared the trajectories of a sample of adults. They are unsure as to the specific mechanism of this, with one hypothesis being that obesity reduces the size of the hippocampus, so there is less capacity for new memories. Approximately 2,800 individuals with an average age of 74 took part in the study.

Whilst much research has been done to develop weight loss programs, this research highlights the importance of protecting memory function, especially with the growing age of the population and the ever increasing rate of obesity. Different types of memory training were used in the study, such as memory, reasoning and speed of processing, but the largest change was seen in the memory field.


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