Obesity and metabolic syndrome 'linked to impaired cognition in young people'

3 September 2012

Obesity and metabolic syndrome have been linked to impaired brain function in adolescents in new research.

According to the analysis, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, as the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased, so has the incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is defined by an individual having three or more of five identified health problems, these being abdominal obesity, low levels of good cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and pre-diabetic insulin resistence.

Lead investigator Antonio Convit explained: "There are huge numbers of people out there who have problems with their weight. If those problems persist long enough, they will lead to the development of MetS and diabetes.

"As yet, there has been very little information available about what happens to the brain in the setting of obesity and MetS and before diabetes onset in children."

In the study, it was found that young people with metabolic syndrome took longer to complete tasks, could not read as well as they once could and had poorer maths scores.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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