Obesity may have negative effects on the brain

Obesity is widely recognized as being a health issue that can lead to fatal health concerns like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, osteoarthritis, sleep disorders and certain cancers. But new research by The BODY Project (Banishing Obesity and Diabetes in Youth) shows obesity has a negative effect on brain functioning, as well.

Results from studies performed by The BODY Project show obese youth have problems with reading, arithmetic, memory, attention, and decision-making. In U.S. schools, 40 percent of students in public high schools are obese. Dr. Lloyd Sederer, Medical Director of New York State Office of Mental Health, believes there is an obvious correlation between an increase in overweight youth and declining standardized test scores.

The BODY Project is working with a selection of New York City high schools to help students understand the responsibility they have for their health and education. The students have their height and weight measured to determine their body mass index (BMI), and those with high BMIs are selected for the program to learn about the dangers of obesity and practical ways to get them healthy. The report gives the students their results on a scale that is represented by three colors: green for good, amber as a warning, and red for bad. If the student lands in the amber or red, their entire family will be contacted and instructed on simple lifestyle changes they can make to improve the family’s health.

To read the entire article go to www.huffingtonpost.com where you can also watch a short video of The BODY Project in action.

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