Obese people's brains get older more quickly than thin peoples
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The brains of obese people age more rapidly than those of thinner people in middle age, research by the University of Cambridge has found. Academics observed that the brains of obese people display differences in white matter similar to those in leaner individuals 10 years older. White matter is the tissue that connects areas of the brain and allows information to be communicated between regions. Human brains naturally shrink with age, but scientists are increasingly recognising that obesity – already linked to conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease – may also affect the onset and progression of brain ageing. In a study of 473 people aged between 20 and 87, researchers looked at the impact of obesity on brain structure across the adult lifespan. Candidates were recruited by the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience and the results are published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. The researchers divided the data into two categories: lean and overweight, and found significant differences in the volume of white matter - overweight individuals had a widespread reduction in white matter compared with lean people.
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