Most people realise that being overweight or obese is associated with a number of health problems - heart disease, diabetes and cancer, to name just three. But did you also know that carrying excess pounds may also be bad for your cognitive health?
Researchers from Kent State University, whose study is published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, are suggesting just that, and claim that being overweight could impair mental functions such as your memory and your ability to concentrate.
The experts decided to find out whether or not losing weight could actually improve how well your brain works.
So they enrolled 150 volunteers - all of whom were overweight - to find out. First, the volunteers were given mental skills tests, including memory tests, to judge how well their cognitive function was working. Then some of the volunteers had gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, while others didn't, after which they all took the mental skills tests again.
Initially just under a quarter of the volunteers were found to have signs of learning problems, with 23 of their body weight had much better scores. The volunteers who hadn't lost weight, however, didn't see any improvement in their mental skills.
Does your memory improve when you shed a pound or two?