Mumbai, November 28: A study using MRI scans has found signs of damage in the brains of teenagers with obesity. The results of the small study were reported Sunday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
The research suggests that along with weight gain, obesity can trigger inflammation throughout the body and the nervous system that could lead to damage in the brain.
“Brain changes found in obese adolescents related to important regions responsible for the control of appetite, emotions, and cognitive functions,” Pamela Bertolazzi, study co-author and a biomedical scientist and Ph.D. student from the University of São Paulo in Brazil said.
“I think this is going to take researchers in a different direction. It really would explain these patterns of behavior that we see in these teens who are having problems with obesity,” she said
“Sometimes the eating is behavioral in nature, it’s sublimating certain emotions with food, as opposed to dealing with them in other ways,” Dr. Fisher added. “It would explain some of the rises in obesity that we’ve seen over the past many years.”
“Impacts are seen physically as well as emotionally,” Sophia Yen, MD, clinical associate professor at Stanford Children’s Health’s Weight Clinic in California said. “It can definitely impact self-esteem and cause depression. It can cause breast enlargement in boys and girls. In young women, it can cause polycystic ovary syndrome, irregular menses, hair growth, and acne. It can cause joint problems, heart problems, breathing problems, obstructive sleep apnea, liver problems, and diabetes.”
Dr. Yen says weight loss is 90 percent of what you eat and 10 percent exercise. She advises that at every meal, 50 percent of the plate should include fruits and vegetables, a minimum of 25 percent should be protein, and no more than 25 percent should be carbohydrates.