Home News Can Weight Loss Improve Memory?

Can Weight Loss Improve Memory?

Recent studies have shown that weight loss can bring many health benefits, but can it also help to improve the memory?

This is the topic of this latest news story and one that could prove to be rather interesting. Just imagine how amazing it would be to not only get back in shape but also increase your mental capability at the same time!

Better Brain Function

weight loss improves memoryThere is some interesting research out of Kent State University that has recently been published in the health journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases in their article: Improved memory function 12 weeks after bariatric surgery.

The study's lead author John Gunstad, who is an Assistant Professor of psychology, reported that there are indications that losing weight may cause improvements in concentration and also in overall cognitive ability. He said that,

"We've known for a long time that obesity is a risk factor for things like Alzheimer's disease and stroke, and more recent work really shows that obesity is a link to memory problems and concentration problems before that even begins. If excess weight causes these problems, can losing several pounds help reverse them?"

That question is what Gunstad and his team set out to try and provide a definitive answer for. To that end, during the study, the memory and attention span was analyzed of a group comprising 150 obese people.

The average weight of the group was 300 pounds. When the study commenced, each group member was tested for mental skills to provide an assessment of their baseline abilities of basic recall and attention span.

Following the assessment, a number of subjects in the study underwent weight loss gastric bypass surgery, while others in the group did not. Twelve weeks following the surgery, each participant in the group had their mental skills tested once again.

Impaired Learning Improves

Before the participants had their weight loss surgery procedure, results of the tests showed that of all the participants, 23.9 percent exhibited impaired learning, while 22.9 percent displayed poor recognition memory. Twelve weeks after undergoing the gastric bypass surgery and after losing an average of around 50 pounds, the cognitive tests undertaken by those participants revealed that the average performance had improved and was within or even above the average range.

There were no improvements noted in those who did not have the weight loss surgery.

The interesting thing was that findings showed that over the 12 week period, the members of the group that did not undergo surgery experienced a measurable gradual decline in memory.

Gunstad acknowledged that results arrived at during the study raised more questions on the possible link between obesity and reduced cognitive ability that will need to be further investigated.


Posted on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 in News | 2 Comments

2 thoughts on "Can Weight Loss Improve Memory?"

Dana Eden says:

This is amazing isn't it. We really are learning that being overweight is more than just that. It really is becoming responsible for so much more including disease and now even memory! Thanks for a great article

Christopher Hart says:

Great article! Losing weight is really hard thing to do but and this site is great help to attain it. Thank you for posting the healthy tip on how to lose weight.