A new study published by the American Academy of Neurology has linked extra belly fat to shrinking in brain volume.

Measuring the body mass index (BMI) and the waist-to-hip ratios of its participants, the research found that those with higher ratios of both criteria had the lowest brain volume.

About 1000 participants with higher BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were marked with the lowest amount of grey matter in their brains.

Gray matter is component of the central nervous system that is responsible for processing information and controls emotion, memory, and intellect, all of which tell on the growth and development of the brain.

It is responsible for sensory perception, self-control and muscle movement.

“We also found links between obesity and shrinkage in specific regions of the brain,” said Mark Hamer, lead author of the study.

“This will need further research but it may be possible that someday, regularly measuring BMI and waist-to-hip ratio may help determine brain health.”

Mark, however, warned that it is still unclear whether the brain structure anomalies were responsible for obesity in the participants or that their obesity led to the brain changes.



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