Have you ever noticed how obese people on TLC's "My 600-lb Life" seem to struggle to communicate or even think clearly? That's because among the many body functions, obesity destroys is brain functioning. Excess stored fat kills white matter, the brain's connective tissue that drives gray matter. Obesity reduces cognition, brain receptivity, and is linked to dementia, hardening of the arteries, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It could also explain how people become very overweight in the first place.

Zombie obesity

Like something out of a horror movie, obesity (extreme amounts of stored body fat) literally eats brains of victims. University of Cambridge found that obese people with BMI (body mass index) over 30 are clinically 10 years older than agemates. The brain shrinks naturally with age, but in very fat people, that process is accelerated. Fat attacks the brain's white matter whose function it is to transmit messages between regions. Cognitive processes slow and rational thinking is diminished.

This leads obese folk to be more susceptible to early aging, age-related dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease at younger ages.

Fat cripples respiration and circulation

You may have noticed that many morbidly overweight people have tubes in their noses. Those are connected to a breathing machine that aids in respiration. Without the machine, they would choke to death on their own fat. It causes fluid in the lungs, so obese folks could die from "dry drowning" too.

At night, they must use breathing machines to combat sleep apnea (breathing stoppages). Excess fatcreates water retention and swelling which puts pressure on vital organs including the heart and brain. Obesity clogs arteries and causes circulatory problems as well. All these prevent oxygen from getting to the brain. So obesity is a kind of constant strangulation, killing brain cells and preventing oxygen from nourishing the brain.

Obesity feeds itself

This lack of oxygen, brain swelling and damaged white matter could be why overweight people get to obese in the first place. The fatter a person gets theharder it is for them to think clearly and control their eating. If memory is affected they may forget how much they're eating. They may have difficulty understanding how their behavior is killing them or how to make changes to fix it. They behave more irrationally because brain limit switches are destroyed by fat. Are you seeing the vicious cycle here?It seems there's nothing obesitydoesn't hurt and everything that weight loss helps.

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