The Link Between Obesity and Brain

Did you know about the link between the brain and obesity? If you don’t know, research shows that obesity or having too much weight can affect the brain which can lead to mental problems.  

As your weight increases, your brain gets smaller as it affects the gray matter. It can lead to problems like memory loss, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or impaired cognitive functions. These conditions happen when obesity affects the brain. Doral Health & wellness has an advanced bariatric clinic that offers laparoscopic surgeries in bariatrics including Gastric sleeve surgery, Gastric bypass surgery, and Sleeve gastrectomy. Log on to and get schedule an appointment. 

Knowing the details of how obesity can affect the brain can help you prevent these conditions.  

For that, give this article a read. 

Obesity is the most well-known chronic disease in the world. Obesity can be defined as excessive body fat that can lead to physical problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, stroke, coronary heart disease, or even lead to death. Many factors like too much fatty food, less physical activity, less sleep, stress, and metabolism, etc. are the factors that can lead to obesity.  

While there is no cure for obesity, if you manage your weight with weight loss plans you can prevent its complications and lead a healthy life. Medications can help you with your weight loss program. If you are not able to lose weight through your program and you are on the verge of developing obesity complications, then weight loss surgery is the last resort that can reduce your weight. 

Recent research found that obesity not only leads to physical complications but also mental complications too. It can affect the brain and lead to several conditions like dementia, cognitive functions, Parkinson’s disease, etc.  

How does obesity affect brain functions?

Recent research shows the link between the brain and obesity. It shows that obesity affects those areas of the brain which are used for imagination and memory and causes dementia, memory problems, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive functions, and mental fatigue.  

Obesity and dementia 

Dementia is a condition that affects your ability to remember things, people, and places or interferes with your decision-making ability with everyday tasks. Obesity affects the area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex which is used for decision-making, storing memories, and self-control. These areas contain gray matter which starts to reduce as the fat content of the body increases.  

Researchers from the Boston University school of medicine in 2010 released a report that middle-aged adults who have increased abdominal fat have lower brain volume as compared to healthy middle-aged men. They even have problems remembering things and find it hard to learn role-playing as compared to leaner individuals.  

Obesity and working memory 

Obesity also has a detrimental effect on working memory which is responsible for the decisions you make on a day-to-day basis. In one study, obese people found it difficult to make dietary choices. As junk food is tasty and makes us feel rewarded, it releases serotonin hormone in the body that makes us feel that these food items are worth eating. That’s the reason people with obesity found it difficult to switch to good choices in eating. 

Obesity and Parkinson’s disease 

Obesity especially midlife obesity increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease as dopamine is released in people who are obese. They eat more junk food which can increase the chances of hypertension and diabetes. These all play a role in dementia progression which directly leads to Parkinson’s disease.  

Obesity and cognitive functions 

Obesity affects the prefrontal cortex area of the brain that manages cognitive functions such as memory, attention, language, decision-making, and problem-solving. Obesity also reduces the gray matter inside the prefrontal cortex area that manages all cognitive functions. It was found in one study, that the brain volume of obese people is less compared to leaner and fit people.  

Obesity and mental fatigue 

Mental fatigue is a condition where your brain energy is completely exhausted and you’re not able to do anything that needs physical performance. And obesity makes you mentally fatigued when you need to do something which requires physical effort.  

Obesity also increases procrastination, which makes you less physically active too. In a study, obese and non-obese people must work until they get fatigued. And it is found that non-obese people work longer until they get physically fatigued whereas obese people get fatigued very quickly even though they have the power to work. It happens because their mind starts to send signals to the muscles as they fatigue earlier and easier than others. 

Inflammation and obesity 

Inflammation is another factor that affects the brain and cognitive functions. As obese, we overeat foods high in fatty acids and carbohydrates which increase the production of inflammatory cytokines. These are the proteins that cells use to signal the brain about inflammation. And inflammation can weaken the connections between the brain and cells which eventually affect the gray matter in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus areas. These areas are important for cognition, memory, thinking, and self-control. It also affects the white matter of the brain which is connected to different brain regions.  

Even so, it is not sure that inflammation is a cause of mental health problems due to obesity. But many researchers believe that obesity causes this inflammation which is the main reason that it harms brain health.  

Obesity is a chronic condition that can cause mental problems. But like physical complications, these mental conditions are also preventable. If you manage your obesity, by following a weight loss plan that is given by the doctor to maintain your weight. And if other treatments are not able to produce any results against your obesity. Weight loss surgery or other bariatric surgery can be used as a last resort to reduce your weight and to improve your quality of life without worries.  

Want to learn about obesity’s complications?  

Call us at 1-347-384-5690 to get a free consultation, or walk in for an appointment at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212.

And if you are looking for treatment for obesity, visit our bariatric clinic. We provide the best service and treatment which not only reduces your fat but also changes your life.

So, what are you waiting for?

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