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Mar 18
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On Monday, I told you about a number of papers that are finding a link between higher BMI and reduced cognitive ability (along with lower frontal cortex metabolism - the part of your brain that does the planning). What is even more worrisome is now researchers are finding similar trends in school age children.

Li et al., 2008 examined 2,519 children in the USA between the ages of 8 and 16. Even after controlling a large number of factors (parental/family, sports participation, physical activity, time spent watching TV, blood pressure and blood lipid profiles) cognitive function was negatively correlated with body mass index (BMI). Overweight children, and those at risk of being overweight, performed worse on visuospatial organization and general mental ability compared to normal-weighted children. However, BMI did not correlate with academic performance once parental/family factors were controlled for (it was significant before controlling for this factor).

But still the take home message is that overweight children general mental ability is less than those in the normal range (even after controlling for many other factors).

Again, we don’t know the cause effect relationship, but the results are very sobering. If you don’t want your children to be at a cognitive disadvantage you do not want your kids to be overweight.

Adding to this problem is how parents judge the body/weight of their children - which will be the subject of soon to be posted piece. Try to keep you kids active and eating a healthy diet.

You can go here to determine you or you children’s.

2 Responses

  1. DD Says:

    Am no psychologist or specialist in psychology, but recently I have been reading ‘Stumbling upon happiness’ by Daniel Gilbert. In the first chapter it talked about how physicians during the 18th to early 19th centuries destroyed parts of the frontal lobes of patients suffering from anxiety and depression. After surgeries, these patients showed only slightly decreased intelligence. The biggest problem though, was that they became unable to plan, like what to do later today, tonight, what to eat. So the frontal lobe seems to be responsible for planning, with the ’side effect’ of anxiety, worrying about the future.
    My question is, children, or adults, with higher BMI, are they ‘happier’ people? (Chubby people do seem happier, well at least to me) :>

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