Nanci Hellmich of USA Today wrote an article titled “Study Suggests: Lose Weight, Improve Memory” on April 14, 2011 about an unusual benefit to dramatic weight loss, usually accomplished through surgery. A study by Kent State University professor John Gunstad examined the psychological impacts of extreme weight loss for 150 individuals. Most (109) had some kind of surgery to achieve their weight loss, mainly gastric bypass. The individuals were given a memory test before and after their 50 pounds or more of weight reduction. Their memory and organizational skills demonstrated advancements, while those who remained morbidly obese showed a slight loss in their cogitative abilities.
USA Today is a popular news magazine that provides world news, health knowledge, and other information to its readers. The target audience is Americans with a desire to stay informed through their subscription or online viewing of the magazine in a wide variety of modes such as images, television, and print with the most up-to-date articles and media. Naci Hellmich is a journalist for USA Today who writes on a variety of topics but concentrates mainly on health and fitness.
The article is not as credible as a few many of the other journal sources, but it is effective for the intended audience. It relies mainly on a study done by an authoritative psychologist, and, therefore, has adequate support for its claim, however unorthodox. Also, the findings were based on a sufficiently large population, since there are thousands, not millions, of morbidly obese Americans. This article demonstrates a slightly indirect benefit to gastric bypass surgery.