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From AOL Health:
So you already know that the spare tire around your middle probably isn't good for your health, but it turns out, it isn't good for your mind either.

According to a new study published in Brain Research, having a bigger belly may not only put you at higher risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, it could also be reducing the size of your brain, particularly the areas that control your eating behavior.

A team of researchers at the New York University School of Medicine set out to uncover the impact of obesity on the physical structure of the brain. They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the brains of 44 obese individuals against 19 lean people of similar age and background.

"The study found that obese individuals have more inflammation and smaller brain volume in areas that affect appetite and reward; whereas, lean individuals did not," Dr. Lisa Davis, corporate medical officer for Maryland-based weight loss company Medifast, told AOL Health.

Findings show that obese people had more water in the amygdala, a part of the brain that helps regulate eating behavior. The study also revealed that obese individuals had smaller orbitofrontal cortices, which are important for impulse control and also play a part in feeding behavior.

Davis describes this problem as "fatty brain syndrome."
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