The latest results from the most significant long-term study on brain development and child health raise provocative questions about brain function and obesity. Previously studies were made on adults and children and the results were different than expected. An editorial that was published by JAMA Pediatrics said it was a necessary complement to the indications that link between brain structure and weight gain.
If the following research is continued and taken further, it could lead us to prevent obesity in future. The study conducted further involved more than 3,000 United States children who were in between 9 years and ten years. The study also weighed their height and weight, MRI scans of their brains were taken, computer-based tests to check memory, impulsive control, language, and reasoning. From this study, it was observed that more than 1,000 were obese or overweight. The researchers found that the brain scans of the heaviest children differed, with slightly smaller brain regions behind the forehead controlling so-called “executive functions” tasks. They include capabilities such as planning, controlling impulses, and handling multiple tasks simultaneously. University of Vermont neuroscientist Scott McKee said the differences were small compared to normal-weight children. In computer-based executive function tests, the heaviest children also score slightly worse. But Mackey and lead author Jennifer Laurent, a researcher on obesity at the University of Vermont, said it’s unclear whether these differences have a meaningful impact on children’s schooling or behavior. It’s unclear how they relate to weight, and Mackey said other factors not measured in the study, including physical exercise and healthy nutrition, may play a more significant role.
From the recent study, we can see that, the weight that is affecting the child’s growth and also the brain structure and may affect the same. We all know that obesity is not under anyone’s control but if changes made in lifestyle and eating habits we, surely can control it.