It is known that obesity is linked to a range of diseases and that losing weight can improve health factors and make you live longer. Losing weight can also improve quality of life, social life, confidence and other issues associated with obesity which may have less serious health implications, but can still have a big impact on a person’s day to day life. One of these smaller changes that weight loss surgery can make is in an individual’s memory.
A study conducted in 2011 showed that undergoing weight loss surgery not only improves your health but also your memory.
It is known that being overweight can effect an individual’s memory and cognitive ability but researchers at Kent State University wanted to see if undergoing weight loss surgery and losing weight could reverse these effects and improve memory and brain function. Researchers tested the memory of 150 cohorts with an average weight of 300lbs.
The participants went through a range of four tests to assess their memory and cognitive ability, such as being read lists of words or numbers and being asked to recall them. At this initial stage of the research 23.9% showed impaired learning and 22.9% demonstrated poor memory recognition. These impairments can make it harder for individuals to follow instructions or successfully carry out other day to day activities.
109 of the participants went on to have weight loss surgery, the majority having gastric bypass surgery with fewer participants opting for lap band surgery.
About 12 weeks after surgery the individuals who had had weight loss surgery had lost an average of 50lbs and moved from having impaired memory and learning to normal, achieving average or above average results on the same tests. The people who had not had weight loss surgery showed no improvement in two of the tests and worse results in the other two.
Weight Loss Surgery and Memory
It is not known what it is about obesity that causes damage to brain and memory function, or why weight loss surgery seems to reverse the impact of being overweight on the brain. Nor is it known whether people who lose weight normally would experience such positive results. But the research is a good step in understanding the impact that our diet and weight can have on a range of cognitive and memory disorders that start with impaired cognitive function and memory. The clear message is that if you look after your body on the outside you will also look after your body on the inside; your heart, your lungs, your brain and much more.
If you would like to learn more about how weight loss surgery could benefit you then call us on 1.866.668.9263 and speak to one of our trained US based advisors. Let us help you to live happier, healthier and for longer.