Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Research: Lose the weight to save your brain.

There is somewhat shocking report on obesity: Researchers have found that people who are overweight and obese are actually losing brain tissue and have brains that are aged prematurely!

"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than their healthy counterparts while [those of] overweight people looked 8 years older," says UCLA neuroscientist Paul Thompson, senior author of a study published online in Human Brain Mapping. The study also found that clinically obese people had 8% less brain tissue than those considered to be in the 'normal' weight range, and overweight people had 4% less brain tissue than those who were not overweight. Because roughly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese (36% and 30% respectively), this may be a widespread problem.

Consuming a healthy diet is generally agreed to be the most important factor in maintaining a healthy weight, with exercise also playing an important role. Eating a healthy balance of fresh fruits and vegetables, with lean meats and whole grains, all in moderate portions, is key. Most of us know this. However, many of us lose sight of this when stressed and busy. Why is that?

Perhaps it's because stress can make us crave sweets and less-healthy fare. And People consumes more chocolate/ sweets in a stressful day!Or perhaps it's because, when we get too stressed and busy, we may settle for convenience food rather than cooking healthier meals. Or perhaps it's because we eat to feel better, or to fill a void we feel inside. If any of these are sounding familiar to you, you're not alone; stress can affect weight in several ways.

So it is recommended to eat healthier when stressed, and stay fit in other ways as well. It is improtant to know that exercise is a great stress reliever.

Resource: about.com

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