QuoteThe new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a person's cognitive function. The research, conducted by French scientists, which is published in this month's Neurology journal, involved men and women aged between 32 and 62 taking four mental ability tests that were then repeated five years later. The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index - a measure of body fat - of 20 or less could recall 56 percent of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44 percent.
QuoteObese people become as addicted to food in the same way that junkies do to their drugs, according to a new study, which may explain their constant cravings. Evidence that the obese are food "junkies" comes from brain scans of seven obese people who were fitted with electrical devices designed to fool them into thinking they are full by making their stomachs stretch. The implanted devices, known as "gastric stimulators", provide low-level electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve, which runs from the stomach to the brain. When the device is switched on, the vagus nerve stimulation causes the stomach to expand and produce peptides that send a message of "fullness" to the brain.
QuoteHeating and air conditioning might also be to blame. When people and animals go above or below a "thermoneutral" ambient temperature, they lose weight - if it is too cold they burn fat to stay warm, and if too hot their appetites decrease. But studies show that people are keeping their houses warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than they did a few decades ago, so these natural influences on weight are negated.