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Bigger Belly = Shrinking Brain?

Can a bigger belly lead to a smaller brain? Research seems to suggest so. Find out more from the Get-Fit Guy

By
Ben Greenfield
1-minute read

A very interesting recent study may indeed inspire you to eat less and exercise more. The researchers in the study, entitled “Abdominal obesity and lower gray matter volume” concluded their findings as follows:

"Our findings also provide some evidence that the inverse association between abdominal obesity and brain volume is particularly prominent for GMV, and that it is not mediated by vascular brain injury." 

What does this mean exactly?

The fact is we’re not quite sure. But what is suspected is that in overweight individuals, a combination of inflammation from excessive fat cells, insulin resistance from excessive food intake, and dysregulation of fat-derived hormones such as leptin, may actually cause damage to the brain.

So what can you do about this?

  1. Follow the exercise recommendations dished out each week by the Get-Fit Guy.
  2. Care for your brain by following the rules in this series on tricking your brain into giving you a better workout.
  3. Limit your food intake, but don’t necessarily eat “low-fat” per se, since your brain actually needs fats!

Do you have questions about how an expanding waistline may decrease brain size? Then post it in the comments section below or over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.