Obese or overweight young adults may face problem in recalling past events due to poorer episodic memory than their peers, a new study suggested.
A team of researchers at the Department of Psychology at Cambridge University put volunteers to a test of episodic memory and detected a link between high body mass index (BMI) and poorer memory performance.
It is already known that obesity boosts the risk of several physical health issues, including diabetes and heart disease as well as certain psychological problems. But it was the first time that researchers found a direct correlation between episodic memory and high BMI.
Dr. Lucy Cheke said, “Increasingly, we’re beginning to see that memory – especially episodic memory, the kind where you mentally relive a past event – is also important. How vividly we remember a recent meal, for example today’s lunch, can make a difference to how hungry we feel…”
Cheke underlined that psychological factors also play a key role in the issue. For instance, a person tends to eat more when distracted by TV or working, and tends to ‘comfort eat’ when he/she is sad.
The preliminary study appeared in most recent edition of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.