Less food, less focus

Dieting can play havoc with mental skills such as memory and concentration, new findings from the Institute of Food Research in Reading show. In a study involving about 70 people who were given psychological tests measuring their performance in areas such as speed of reaction and mental processing capacity, researchers found those trying to lose weight invariably did worse.

In a report in New Scientist, they reject the idea that poor nutrition and lack of energy are to blame and say the cause is psychological. All that anxiety about food leaves little mental energy for other tasks.