Researchers from New York University found in a study that overweight children struggle at school because being obese can affect their brain function.
“The study found that children showing physical changes due to being obese, such as raised blood pressure, higher levels of bad cholesterol and resistance to the blood sugar controlling hormone, insulin, had poorer scores on thinking tests”.
49 children with metabolic syndrome, who had at least 3 of the following health problems associated with obesity: large waist, low good cholesterol, high blood fats, high blood pressure and insulin resistance were compared to children who didn’t have metabolic syndrome. They results showed those with metabolic syndrome were on average 10 points lower in maths and 4 points lower in spelling as well as a reduced attention span and mental flexibility.
They also found the children with metabolic syndrome had a smaller hippocampus which helps you to learn and recall new information.
“The message is that just being overweight and obese is already impacting your brain” Dr Convit
In order to improve brain function and alertness, here are some of the things that will help:
- Using Your Brain e.g. Reading
- Good Quality Sleep
- Drink Lots of Water
- Manage Stress
- Fish Oil
- Eat Paleo/Primal Foods – Foods particularly good for brain function include: Eggs, Oily Fish, Strawberries, Blueberries