This study says excess weight and high-fat diets can cause mental fatigue

Being overweight has multiple implications, not just physically but mentally too. And this study is shedding light on how it can cause mental fatigue.
Maintain your weight for the sake of your fertility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
IANS Updated: 28 Apr 2020, 11:51 am IST
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Even after sleeping for optimum hours do you feel tired? Do you always feel lethargic, as if you don’t have any energy to do anything? Well, that’s because you are mentally exhausted. Do you know, our generation is known to be the burnout generation? And the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that it can wreck you emotionally as well. 

No, we are not trying to scare you but you should be aware about it. In fact, you can fix it by doing one small thing: maintain your body weight.

According to a recent study published in the FASEB Journal, obesity has been shown to put physical stress on the body. Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have now revealed that excess weight may also cause mental fatigue.

burnout syndrome
Occupational burnout can cost you your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Stay away from a high-fat diet
“Although we were not fully surprised by this finding, this is the first study, to our knowledge, to be reporting mental exhaustion in high-fat diet-induced obese rats,” said study principal investigator Chaya Gopalan from Southern Illinois University– Edwardsville in the US.

The researchers aimed to learn more about the onset of obesity and its impact on both physical and mental abilities by studying two groups of rats.

One group was fed a high-fat diet, and the other ate a standard diet for six weeks.

The research team measured the rats’ weight, blood glucose, and ketone levels twice a week. Ketones are chemicals made by the liver when there is not enough insulin in the body to convert glucose into energy.

eating too fast
Slow down there champ! Eating fast food ain’t good for you. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In the fifth week, the researchers administered an open-field test, which measures speed and distance as the animals move through a maze in a given time frame and determine physical exhaustion.

A novel object recognition test, which measures mental exhaustion by analyzing the time the rats spend examining new and familiar objects, was given in the final week of the trial.

A diet rich in fat content can have wreck your cognitive capabilities along with giving you mental fatigue 
Both rat groups gained weight during the trial, but the high-fat diet group, not surprisingly, gained more than the control group.

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Blood glucose levels fluctuate more in the high-fat diet group as well. There was no significant difference in the average glucose levels or ketones between the two groups.

Try meditation, yoga, and other forms of exercise to keep your mental health in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

According to the researchers, the high-fat diet group performed poorly on the novel recognition test when compared with the control group.

“One message from this study is to avoid a high-fat diet, which not only makes one become obese but also has consequences on cognitive capability,” the authors wrote.

So, it’s time to ditch that junk food you are in love with because it is actually making you unproductive and lazy and causing mental fatigue. 

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