Losing Weight Can Improve Your Memory
Slimming down can improve memory, a study suggests.
Maggie Lange / Source: Gawker
In addition to just generally being good for you slimming down to a healthy weight can improve your memory and increase brain activity.
Swedish researchers found that older, overweight women who dieted went on to score better in memory tests after they had lost weight.
Previous studies had shown that obese people have worse episodic memory – the ability to remember events that happen during your life – but the new findings suggest this may be reversible, the scientists said.
Andreas Pettersson, a medical doctor and PhD student at Umea University, assigned 20 overweight women with an average age of 61 to six-month diets.
Before and after dieting, the women's episodic memory was tested by asking them to memorise a series of names and faces, then recall later on what letter each person's name began with.
The women's performance on the test improved after they lost weight, and brain scans taken during the exercise suggested that they had become more efficient at storing and recalling memories.
Dr Pettersson, who presented his findings at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting in San Francisco, explained: "The altered brain activity after weight loss suggests that the brain becomes more active while storing new memories and therefore needs fewer brain resources to recollect stored information.
"Our findings suggest that obesity-associated impairments in memory function are reversible, adding incentive for weight loss."
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