Matter and Intelligence

A new study suggests fat people have less grey and white matter in a significant network of their brains -- though not in the brain overall -- than people who are not fat. The article suggests this means that they are less "intelligent" when it comes to making good food choices.

I'm not buying it, if only because the measure they used was BMI. Someone who has a high BMI because they are a weightlifter is all about smart food choices. It takes considerable attention to ensure you get enough protein to maintain large muscles. The suggestion that BMI correlates with weakened self-control over food choices isn't adequate. (I doubt that they really used only BMI, anyway. If they wanted to study 'fat people,' they doubtless used an informal visual evaluation to determine which high-BMI candidates to include.)

Nor am I ready to buy off on the claim that we know exactly what part of the brain always and everywhere handles this or that function of the mind.

However, a follow-on study might be interesting if the study were done over a period of years, especially tracking thin people of whom some became obese. I'd be interested to know if the weakening of this sector proceeded or followed the increase in weight.


Anonymous said...

Grim, I have struggles with weight gain my whole life. I was a fat kid. I still am fat.
I don't buy their theory either, its hogwash. There is no correlation between obesity and intelligence.
My goal is to weigh 190 pounds and stay there.

If you want to loose weight as I did, I hiked 320 mi this spring and lost 27 lbs thru hiking the Sheltowee Trace National recreation trail over the course of three weeks. I love the Appalachian Spring in the Monsoon Season.

Also, there may be a correlation between obesity and food addiction, say an addiction to wheat, as suggested in
the book "Wheat Belly." Going wheat free has helped kept the 27 pounds off so far.

Another book I just read is called , "The Hormone Reset Diet"
Here are two links to the author's blog.

Remember Milo Yiannopoulos? , Milo wrote an article on losing weight. His view is that if you are obese,
you should hate yourself. At least until you get better. Because fatness is a health problem, and shame works.

Science Proves It: Fat-Shaming Works

- Mississippi

Grim said...

You're certainly not alone. Good for you in taking it on in a foresquare manner.

I don't have any certain opinions about what works, or exactly why. I have lost as much as 40 pounds at one point in my life, in an attempt to make a "healthy weight" under the BMI standard. I found that it was impossible to do without living on Slim Fast, even though I was running 5 miles several times a week up and down Burnt Mountain. I had to adopt a bodyweight-only strength training regime, too, in order to make sure I didn't have muscle bulk.

Even at that, I only got within a few pounds of the very top of the range. Right now, I'm 50 pounds over the top of the 'healthy weight' range, but I'm stronger than I've ever been in my life (if the standard for that is things like deadlifts and overhead presses). I lift three times a week, and hike on the weekends whenever I can.

At this point, I think of the BMI standard as a load of hooey. Being obese-fat is bad. Being a weightlifter is awesome.

Texan99 said...

I've lost 80 lbs. as of this morning. Am I smarter now? All this research into self-control and willpower is very interesting, but I've never seen any results yet that hold water. All it took in my case was terror of diabetes. (Blood sugar all back to normal now, blood pressure back down to my usual low, and acid reflux completely gone after many years of constant trouble.) When I was motivated enough to change how much I ate, I just did it, that's all. It became worth it to me. No biochemical or genetic explanation. No one but me guides the fork to my mouth.

The biggest obstacle for me always was a revulsion for feeling deprived all the time. Well, there's deprived and there's deprived. I can't eat a bowl of ice cream as big as my head, but on the other hand I'm not deprived of all kinds of things I was deprived of as recently as last October, like the ability to buy clothes that aren't hideous, or go barefoot without pain, or work in the hot sun for hours without collapsing, or wake up without back pain. Or--the biggie--living free of diabetes.

Grim said...

Congratulations on your success, Tex. That's outstanding.