London: Overweight children are more likely to struggle with academics because being obese can affect their brain power, a new study has found. Researchers from the New York University found that children showing physical changes due to being obese, such as raised blood pressure, higher levels of bad cholesterol and resistance to the blood sugar controlling hormone, insulin, had poorer scores on thinking tests. The study compared 49 children with metabolic syndrome, a collection of at least three health problems associated with obesity which can include a large waist, low good choelsterol, high blood fats, high blood pressure and insulin resistance which is a pre-cursor to type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that even a few years of problems with metabolism may cause brain complications. The study found that those classified as having metabolic syndrome showed significantly lower maths and spelling scores, as well as decreased attention span and mental flexibility. Maths scores were ten points lower on average in the metabolic syndrome group and spelling scores were four points lower.
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