Aerobic fitness & motor ability counteracts dangers of obesity for developing children’s brains

  • Brain imaging has revealed that aerobic fitness and motor speed/agility in overweight children, but not strength, is associated with greater gray matter in some brain regions, some of which are also associated with better academic performance.

A Spanish study involving 101 overweight/obese children (aged 8-11) has found that aerobic capacity and motor ability is associated with a greater volume of gray matter in several cortical and subcortical brain regions.

Aerobic capacity was associated with greater gray matter volume in the premotor cortex, supplementary motor cortex, hippocampus, caudate nucleus, inferior temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and the calcarine cortex. Three of these regions (premotor cortex, supplementary motor cortex and hippocampus) were also related to better academic performance.

Motor ability (speed and agility) was associated with a greater gray matter volume in two regions essential for language processing and reading: the inferior frontal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. Both of these were also associated with better academic performance.

Muscular strength showed no independent association with gray matter volume in any brain region.

The researchers suggest that increases in cardiorespiratory fitness and “speed-agility” may counteract the known harmful effect of obesity on brain structure and academic performance during childhood.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-11/uog-tbo112217.php

Reference: 

Related News

Brain imaging data from 103 healthy people aged 5-32, each of whom was scanned at least twice, has demonstrated that wiring to the

Childhood amnesia — our inability to remember almost everything that happened to us when very young — is always interesting. It’s not as simple as an inability to form long-term memories.

Children’s ability to remember past events improves as they get older. This has been thought by many to be due to the slow development of the

Last year I reported on a study involving 210 subjects aged 7 to 31 that found that in contrast to the adult brain, most of the tightest connections in a child's brain are between brain regions that are physically close to each other.

Findings that children are less likely than adults to distort memories when negative emotions are evoked has significant implications for the criminal justice system.

A study of 80 pairs of middle-income Canadian mothers and their year-old babies has revealed that children of mothers who answered their children's requests for help quickly and accurately; talked about their children's preferences, thoughts, and memories during play; and encouraged successful s

Although we initially tend to pay attention to obvious features such as hair, it has been long established that familiar faces are recognized better from their inner (eyes, nose, mouth) rather than their outer (hair, hairline, jaw, ears) parts1.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health news