Brains v. Beauty

An age old dilemma, – which is more powerful and important – brains or beauty?  Would you rather be hideously ugly and brilliant, or stunningly beautiful and unable to carry a conversation?

Of course none of us really wants to be either of those things.  We want to be brilliant and stunningly beautiful.  And rich.  And happy.  And living on an island with a cabana boy named Juan who fulfills our every desire…

Maybe that part is just me.

We have all been lead to believe that we should want it all and that we can get it all and if we don’t want and have it all, there is something wrong with us.  However, I now have some scientific proof that the choice between brains and beauty is more real than you may have thought!

In late April, the Wall Street Journal published an article, entitled “A Case for those Extra 10 Pounds”, that said that, while the recommendations are to control calories and make healthy diet choices, it seems that there is actually some benefit that comes from being 10-15 pounds overweight.  A little extra weight can lead to a lower risk of osteoporosis and even make you look younger.

Bring on the ice cream!

Just as I was really settling into my celebration of the joys of science, a new study came out that says that extra fat is linked to smaller brain volume, and potentially linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Lucky for me and my desire to continue to eat ice cream, it is unclear whether smaller brains lead to extra fat or vice versa.  I am pulling for the first one.  The idea of fat causing my brain to shrink is disturbing in more ways than one.

So extra fat causes Alzheimer’s, and too little fat causes osteoporosis.  A little extra fat will keep my face unlined and youthfully full, but may cause me to eventually forget my name. Am I willing to give up the ice cream to reduce the risk of dementia?

Is it wrong that I am not sure which way to go on this?

26. May 2010 by Ruth Folger Weiss
Categories: Aging, Health Care | Tags: , | Leave a comment