• A new study revealed a possible link between children's weight and brain functions
  • They found that obese children have lesser brain volume in the area that controls impulses
  • The researchers noted that follow up studies will be needed on the matter

A somewhat appalling study has revealed that obese children have lesser volume in the brain region, which controls their impulses and planning. The area basically controls executive functions, although the researchers were candid enough to say that they still need further research to fully establish the link between a possible link between children’s brain functions and obesity.

A report by NYPost showed the details of the new study, which sought to establish the link between children’s weight and how their brain functions. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics, and an editorial came along with it, highlighting the said study as a revolutionary addition in a series of studies that sought to identify the relationship between the mental faculties of an individual, brain structure and weight.

obese children brain region executive functions
obese children brain region executive functions mojzagrebinfo -Pixabay

Obesity and Brain Functions

Accordingly, researchers point out that if a follow up of the study would confirm the findings, and it could open up a whole new way of finding preventable measures to combat obesity, and at the same time, ensuring that brain functions are improved.

One of the professors from Duke University who co-wrote the published editorial, Dr. Eliana Perrin, said that they don’t know the direction that the relationships would go. They also don’t suggest that people who are obese are not as smart as those who have a healthy weight.

The study was funded by the government. It involved 3,190 children in the US between the age of 9 and 10. The children underwent the same physical and mental tests such as MRI brain scans, computer-based examinations that tested their reasoning, memory, language, and impulse control. Out of these children, almost 1,000 kids were either overweight or obese. The ration was similar to the national statistics.

Lesser Brain Volume

Researchers ascertained that obese children had lesser volume in the brain region located right behind the forehead. The said region is the one controlling executive functions, which includes activities related to planning, multitasking, and impulse control. Aside from this, the scores of heavier children were also said to have been worse than their normal-weight counterparts.

The researchers still rendered the results as inconclusive. They said that it was unknown whether there was a difference or any meaningful effect on the behavioral and academic functioning aspects of children.