To Your Health
March, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 03)
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Obesity Is Bad for the Brain

By Editorial Staff

There's nothing good about obesity when it comes to your health, with research connecting the dots between excess weight and a laundry list of poor health consequences including, but not limited to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoarthritis, gout, breathing problems and certain cancers.

The brain isn't immune from the perils of obesity, either, according to new research published in Age and Ageing.

Dementia encompasses a broad group of brain diseases, with Alzheimer's disease being the most common type. Dementia involves a progressive decline in our ability to think, remember and process information - so much so that it eventually impacts daily function. This large study evaluated two groups of dementia-free older adults (ages 65-74) for more than a decade. The two groups: a "healthy" group consisting of nonsmokers without cancer, heart failure or multiple health problems; and an "unhealthy" group consisting of seniors who smoked or suffered from serious chronic health issues. Overall, the study population included more than 400,000 older adults.

brain power - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark In the healthy group, obesity was associated with a higher risk of developing dementia during the study period, particularly after the first 10 years. The risk was actually lower in the unhealthy group, but the study authors discounted any suggestion that obesity may actually protect against dementia, stating: "Reports of protective effects of obesity or overweight on dementia risk in older groups may reflect biases, especially weight loss before dementia diagnosis."

Obesity is bad for your body and bad for your brain, pure and simple. Here's the good news: diet and exercise are two simple, easily achievable, yet pivotal elements of a successful weight-loss program. Talk to your doctor for more information.