BMI relates positively with cortical thickness in blue areas, and negatively with cortical thickness in red areas. Image: Uku Vainik
Thinking about obesity - health science news

A new study found that people with a high body-mass-index (BMI), indicating obesity, show reduced cognitive flexibility, ability to delay gratification, visuospatial ability and verbal memory. Also, these people have a thicker left prefrontal cortex and thinner right prefrontal cortex. This particular brain anatomy make people prone to obesity more sensitive to visual food cues, and less able to resist them by considering the negative context of eating, like weight gain. Also, as the study included identical twins, the researchers found that the neuroanatomical traits have a genetic link with obesity. These observations will change the way obesity is treated until now, and could include cognitive training to improve people’s ability to resist food.

Read the full story: McGill University
Scientific publication: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA