Brain and Obesity: an overview

It’s often discussed by the media and the general public what are the causes of obesity. On one hand, some might say it is caused by eating too much and moving too little, focusing more on the physical part of the disease. On the other hand, the mental part of such a complex is often left in the background. Therefore, I believe it’s important to consider brain influences in the topic. 

  First, psychological facts play an important role in the topic. For some people, emotions can influence eating habits. Stress. Anger, Sadness. Overeating can be a common response to these feelings. According to an article, while most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.[1] This data shows that the mind is an important factor in obesity. 

Second, studies demonstrate that obesity is associated with cognitive deficits. According to the article “Obesity and brain function”, obesity has been linked with functional and structural brain change in neuroimaging studies and is associated with a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which refers to diminished or impaired mental and/or intellectual functioning. 

In addition, Dementia comprises a wide range of progressive and acquired neurocognitive disorders. Obesity is a risk factor for dementia. The adverse effects of obesity on the brain and the central nervous system have been the subject of considerable research. In this study the scientist concluded that obesity appears to be associated with reduced brain function. They stated: “The data suggest that being overweight or obese in midlife may be more detrimental to subsequent age-related cognitive decline than being overweight or obese at later stages of the life span. These effects are likely mediated by the accelerated effects obesity has on the integrity of neural structures, including both gray and white matter. Further epidemiological studies have provided evidence that obesity in midlife is linked to an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.” [2]

In conclusion, obesity can be harmful for an individual’s physical health. However, it can also have a profound effect on your mental health – a higher risk of depression, poor self-esteem, and issues with body image. Given the circumstances, we as a society must offer our support to anyone going through that. 



[1]Obesity: Risks, Symptoms, Charts, BMI, Causes & Treatment ( 

Obesity and overweight ( 

[2] Obesity and Brain Function: The Brain-Body Crosstalk – PubMed ( 

Featured image retrieved from: Is Obesity All In The Mind? Is Your Brain Making You Fat? – Adam Eason (


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