Your future in the balance

  •  August 13, 2020

If you could predict, would you like to know if you will gain weight or remain slim in the future? Study reveals how simple brain imaging can support preventive treatment so fate is not met.

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If you are trying to lose weight, what are your chances of success?

According to a study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (United States), the key is in your head.

The researchers found a way to predict weight in the future with a simple brain scan.

And the accuracy impresses.

The test, which assesses brain size, has a 78 percent accuracy.

The study analyzed 52 participants, aged between 60 and 79 years.

All were overweight or obese (with Body Mass Index greater than 28 and less than 42).

And they also had a history of cardiovascular problems or metabolic syndrome.

Brain images were taken from each one and then the volunteers were divided into three groups.

The first followed a prescribed diet.

The second followed the diet and had to practice aerobic exercise.

The third followed the diet and practiced resistance exercises.

The goal, after 18 months of program, was to record losses between 7% and 10% of body mass.

Brain structure information obtained by magnetic resonance imaging has been subjected to a computerized prediction algorithm.

The predictions were based on the gray and white mass volume of the participants.

And then they were compared to the actual weight loss of the study participants after 18 months.

The gray matter volume of the brain provided higher predictive accuracy compared to the white matter.

And the combination of the two outperformed the isolated results of each other.

Because the study sample is considered small, researchers hope to include more people in follow-up studies.

The idea is to broaden the types of interventions that can help improve the predictive nature of the test.

So that we will be able to rely on this forecast soon enough.

The study was published in the scientific journal Obesity.

Balance Your Future and Present Self (August 2020)