About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife

Font : A-A+

  • A high body mass index in adolescence affects brain function later in midlife.
  • Low economic position during childhood had an influence in the adverse effect on the cognitive function.
  • Taller stature in both sexes and late growth in women were associated with better midlife cognitive performance.

Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife

Overweight and obesity in adolescents have increased substantially and affect a third of the adolescent population in some developed countries. The association of adolescent BMI with cognitive function in midlife has been studied by the scientists at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

The researchers used weight and height data from 507 individuals tracked from over 33 years starting at age 17. The participants completed a computerized cognitive assessment at ages 48-52, and their socioeconomic position was assessed by multiple methods. Using mixed models the researchers calculated the life-course burden of BMI from age 17 to midlife, and used multiple regression to assess associations of BMI and height with global cognition.


In the population-based study of a Jerusalem cohort, followed longitudinally from adolescence for over 33 years, the findings point out that higher BMI in late adolescence and the long-term cumulative burden of BMI predicted poorer cognitive function later in life.

"Importantly, this study shows that an impact of obesity on cognitive function in midlife may already begin in adolescence, independently of changes in BMI over the adult life course," said the paper's senior author, Prof. Jeremy Kark of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine.

"Our results also show that taller stature was associated with better global cognitive function, independent of childhood and adult socioeconomic position, and that height increase in late adolescence, reflecting late growth, conferred a protective effect, but among women only," added Irit Cohen-Manheim, doctoral candidate at the Braun School and lead author.

The researchers point out that while socioeconomic position may have a particularly important role in the trajectory of a person's lifetime cognitive function, it has rarely been adequately taken into account.

Prof. Kark said, "Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that childhood living conditions, as reflected also by height, influence cognitive function later in life; however, our study is unique in showing that an adverse association of higher BMI with cognitive function appears to begin in adolescence and that it appears to be restricted to adults with lower childhood socioeconomic position."

"Evidence for the association between impaired cognitive function in midlife and subsequent dementia supports the clinical relevance of our results. Findings of the relation of BMI in adolescence with poorer midlife cognitive status, particularly in light of the ongoing epidemic of childhood obesity, require confirmation," said Irit Cohen-Manheim.

  1. Prof. Jeremy Kark et al., Body Mass Index, Height, and Socioeconomic Position in Adolescence, Their Trajectories into Adulthood, and Cognitive Function in Midlife , Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (2016), http:content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160843.

Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Julia Samuel. (2016, December 09). Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife. Medindia. Retrieved on May 22, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/obesity-in-adolescence-affects-cognitive-function-in-midlife-166018-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Julia Samuel. "Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife". Medindia. May 22, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/obesity-in-adolescence-affects-cognitive-function-in-midlife-166018-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Julia Samuel. "Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/obesity-in-adolescence-affects-cognitive-function-in-midlife-166018-1.htm. (accessed May 22, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Julia Samuel. 2021. Obesity in Adolescence Affects Cognitive Function In Midlife. Medindia, viewed May 22, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthwatch/obesity-in-adolescence-affects-cognitive-function-in-midlife-166018-1.htm.


News A-Z
What's New on Medindia
Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
Black Water: Benefits and Uses
World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bariatric Surgery Obesity Bulimia Nervosa Body Mass Index Liposuction Teenage Battle of the Bulge Diabesity Hunger Fullness and Weight Control Diet and Nutrition for Healthy Weight Loss 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Side Effects Calculator Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Drug Interaction Checker Vent Forte (Theophylline) Hearing Loss Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Find a Hospital Selfie Addiction Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine)

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use