Health & Spirit

Obesity and your brain are not a happy couple

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In Japan, most Sumo wrestlers weigh 300-400 pounds. While they're professionally active, they follow a diet and workout routine that helps keep them surprisingly healthy, considering their girth. But once they stop training, they're prone to Type 2 diabetes, high LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, and they have a life expectancy that's 10 years shorter than the general population.

It shouldn't take a genius to figure out that sooner or later, being chronically obese is going to exact consequences. Belly fat and brains ... if you got one, you're losing the other!

In a study published in Neurology, researchers found that people with the highest body mass index and the highest waist-to-hip ratios (fat around the middle), had the lowest volume of brain gray matter. This matter contains most of the brain's nerve cells, memory transmission centers and synapses. People with a BMI of 30 or above and a waist-to-hip ratio above 0.90 for males and above 0.85 for females had an average gray matter brain volume of 786 cubic centimeters. Folks with healthy BMIs and waist-to-hip ratios had an average volume of gray matter of 798 cubic centimeters. Just being overweight, even without a huge belly, is associated with a smaller hippocampal memory-relay center.

Such gray-matter shrinkage puts you at risk for dementia! So, let this be the year that you're summa (not Sumo) cum laude about your health!

For a boost, check out "What to Eat When," Dr. Mike's new book, and discover how to increase your metabolism and maximize your health and weight loss.

Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Zack Hill Wumo Gary Varvel Wizard of Id Get Fuzzy Little Dog Lost