Research Topic

The Impact of Obesity on Cognitive Function

About this Research Topic

The modern obesity epidemic represents one of the top global public health crisis. Notably, the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than 1.9 billion overweight adults worldwide, including over 650 million obese. Despite the etiological complexity that leads to obesity, several studies indicate that lifestyle is pivotal in the disease development. Indeed, excessive consumption of high-calorie diets and processed foods, combined with sedentarism is determinant for the accumulation of adipose tissue and metabolic dysregulation. Beyond peripheral changes, obesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, such as dementia and depressive illness. Interestingly, recent research indicates that overnutrition as much as poor nutritional quality have deleterious effects on the Central Nervous System. Furthermore, clinical and pre-clinical studies show that exercise not only regulates body fat but also delays and prevents the onset of brain diseases. The mechanisms associated with poor lifestyle choices, obesity, and brain dysfunction begin to be elucidated and point towards hormonal changes and inflammatory markers related to obesity that can also affect the brain. For instance, insulin and leptin receptors are expressed in brain regions and their signaling pathways communicate with numerous neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function and mood behavior. However, these initial findings are not enough to fully unveiled the mechanisms underlying the association between lifestyle patterns, obesity, and cognitive impairments. A better understanding of these mechanisms would allow the development of therapeutic strategies aimed to decrease the world burden of obesity and its association with an increased risk of cognitive decline.

This Research Topic will focus on the relationship between lifestyle factors, obesity, and cognitive function, particularly in dementia. The Guest Editors will also consider articles focused on the connection between obesity and mood disorders that are associated with cognitive impairment, as depressive and bipolar disorders.

We welcome articles in the form of Original Research, Short Communication, and Reviews addressing, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:
• Effects of diet and/or sedentarism on obesity and cognitive impairment;
• Diet- or obesity-induced brain hormonal dysfunction associated with cognitive impairment and/or mood disorders;
• Obesity-induced peripheral dyshomeostasis that could mediate cognitive impairment;
• Shared molecular mechanisms between obesity, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders;
• Strategies and interventions to prevent or reverse diet- or obesity-induced cognitive impairment and mood disorders.


Keywords: Diet, Obesity, Dementia, Neurological Disorders, Mental Health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The modern obesity epidemic represents one of the top global public health crisis. Notably, the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than 1.9 billion overweight adults worldwide, including over 650 million obese. Despite the etiological complexity that leads to obesity, several studies indicate that lifestyle is pivotal in the disease development. Indeed, excessive consumption of high-calorie diets and processed foods, combined with sedentarism is determinant for the accumulation of adipose tissue and metabolic dysregulation. Beyond peripheral changes, obesity has been linked to an increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, such as dementia and depressive illness. Interestingly, recent research indicates that overnutrition as much as poor nutritional quality have deleterious effects on the Central Nervous System. Furthermore, clinical and pre-clinical studies show that exercise not only regulates body fat but also delays and prevents the onset of brain diseases. The mechanisms associated with poor lifestyle choices, obesity, and brain dysfunction begin to be elucidated and point towards hormonal changes and inflammatory markers related to obesity that can also affect the brain. For instance, insulin and leptin receptors are expressed in brain regions and their signaling pathways communicate with numerous neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function and mood behavior. However, these initial findings are not enough to fully unveiled the mechanisms underlying the association between lifestyle patterns, obesity, and cognitive impairments. A better understanding of these mechanisms would allow the development of therapeutic strategies aimed to decrease the world burden of obesity and its association with an increased risk of cognitive decline.

This Research Topic will focus on the relationship between lifestyle factors, obesity, and cognitive function, particularly in dementia. The Guest Editors will also consider articles focused on the connection between obesity and mood disorders that are associated with cognitive impairment, as depressive and bipolar disorders.

We welcome articles in the form of Original Research, Short Communication, and Reviews addressing, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:
• Effects of diet and/or sedentarism on obesity and cognitive impairment;
• Diet- or obesity-induced brain hormonal dysfunction associated with cognitive impairment and/or mood disorders;
• Obesity-induced peripheral dyshomeostasis that could mediate cognitive impairment;
• Shared molecular mechanisms between obesity, cognitive impairment, and mood disorders;
• Strategies and interventions to prevent or reverse diet- or obesity-induced cognitive impairment and mood disorders.


Keywords: Diet, Obesity, Dementia, Neurological Disorders, Mental Health


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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