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Seoul - Study: Older Fat People Less Intelligent Than Thin People

Published on: April 2, 2012 09:39 PM
By: DPA
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(Wigglesworth/AP)Seoul, South Korea - Fat people between the ages of 60 and 70 years are less intelligent than thin people, according to a new study published in the South Korean journal Age and Ageing.

There was insufficient evidence to find a correlation with people older than 70, according to the study that found people with a lot of abdominal fat showed lower cognitive performance. The study noted that the fat tissue immediately under the skin – subcutaneous fat – had no such influence.

”Our findings have important public health implications. The prevention of obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia,” according to Dae Hyun Yoon of the Psychiatric Department of the National University in Seoul.

Avoiding obesity, in particular around the abdomen, could be a way of countering dementia, the study concluded.

The researchers analysed data on weight and waist circumference in 250 subjects older than 60 in South Korea. The study included body mass index (BMI) measurements that relate height to weight, and using computer tomography on the abdominal region.

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The researchers found a statistical correlation between abdominal obesity (visceral adiposity) and intelligence in the group, without finding a discernible cause-and-effect relationship.

Although previous studies had discovered a similar relationship, a larger study was necessary to confirm the results, the team said.

Abdominal fat, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, tended to lead to problems with metabolizing sugars and fats, it said.

”The study showed that a high BMI was linked to the risk of lower cognitive performance in adults between 60 and 70,” the authors wrote. In the case of participants older than 70, no link could be found between either abdominal fat or subcutaneous fat and intellectual performance.

This showed that the link between visceral adiposity (abdominal fat) and reduced cognitive performance disappeared with age.

Cognitive ability was tested by means of the so-called Mini Mental State Examination, which requires the subjects to answer simple questions that test understanding of time, space, language and motor skills in about 10 minutes.



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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 02, 2012 at 09:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Probably the fat people in Korea are eating too much cat and dog meat. Yes, VIN readers some Koreans do indeed do that.

2

 Apr 02, 2012 at 10:12 PM qazxc Says:

As a representative of fat aging people everywhere, I protest this insult.

Please pass the fries.

3

 Apr 02, 2012 at 11:17 PM Materetsky Says:

I wonder if 250 people makes for statistically significant results ...
I would say no, but maybe if the study is getting recognized then I must be wrong.

4

 Apr 03, 2012 at 06:44 AM Anonymous Says:

I am not sure if this study has any relevancy as I do not see that this group is clearly defined in terms of its own true 'intelligence'. I do not think that intelligence varies with your weight although perhaps at the more morbidly obsese levels, there might be some decline in cognitive performance. That is not intelligence.
But either way, this is a pretty ignorant claim and they really did not detail what they considered "intelligence".

5

 Apr 03, 2012 at 06:49 AM qazxc Says:

Reply to #3  
Materetsky Says:

I wonder if 250 people makes for statistically significant results ...
I would say no, but maybe if the study is getting recognized then I must be wrong.

A study of 250 people can carry much weight. ;-)

6

 Apr 03, 2012 at 08:10 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
qazxc Says:

As a representative of fat aging people everywhere, I protest this insult.

Please pass the fries.

You seem to be the proof in the pudding.

7

 Apr 03, 2012 at 09:21 AM ayoyo Says:

the study shows that less intelligent people are fatter, not the other way around

8

 Apr 03, 2012 at 09:22 AM I Know Says:

The study was conducted by old, fat people.

9

 Apr 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM shimon Says:

It's obvious that fat people can't last out so well. It's too much baggage. The brain too, can't take it so well. every unnecesary thing drains the brains. There are always limits

10

 Apr 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM bored Says:

Reply to #7  
ayoyo Says:

the study shows that less intelligent people are fatter, not the other way around

Exactly

11

 Apr 03, 2012 at 03:00 PM Duh! Says:

Maybe they studied only stupid fat people and smart thin people

12

 Apr 03, 2012 at 05:28 PM ShmuelG Says:

Intuitively, it makes some sense. Consider this:
1) Poorer people are fatter than people of means.
2) There is an indisputable correlation between an IQ and the wealth of the person.
3) Ergo...

13

 Apr 04, 2012 at 03:13 AM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #12  
ShmuelG Says:

Intuitively, it makes some sense. Consider this:
1) Poorer people are fatter than people of means.
2) There is an indisputable correlation between an IQ and the wealth of the person.
3) Ergo...

Wasn't a study of the rules of logic in the syllabus for any of your degrees, ShmuelG?

14

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