Connection between Obesity and Dementia

Obesity in middle age or in old age enhances the risk of dementia, which shows the symptoms brain disorder. Recent research studies have established the fact very clearly. To learn more about the connection between obesity and dementia, read on.

If you see your waistline is increasing day by day then you need to take care of it. Increasing obesity may damage your brain and cause dementia. According to US National Institutes of Health team, obese people in their 40s are 74% more prone to develop dementia compared to those of normal weight. The findings are published online at bmj.com.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is group of symptoms that cause the progressive loss of mental facilities including short- and long-term memory. This condition is characterized by mental disorientation and impaired judgment; it typically has an adverse effect on emotions, and learning capabilities, and it may cause functional incontinence. You may also know it by the most common type, Alzheimer’s disease. Already common amongst the elderly there are fears that as the population ages the number of people with dementia will increase.

How are Obesity and Dementia Connected?

According to research studies, obesity and dementia are strongly related. Obese people who are in their early 40s, are more susceptible to the risk of dementia. High body mass index and high skin-fold thickness in the upper back are strongly associated with risk of dementia. Basically, obesity is an adaptable risk factor. In fact weight loss in middle age may have positive effects at the rest of your life.

At 72, dementia is found significantly more often among those with higher body mass indexes when they were in their early 50’s. Midlife obesity with high blood pressure and high cholesterol appear to double the risk for dementia. Further, people with all three risk factors are in the greater risk to suffer dementia.

The effects of obesity on dementia may be direct i.e. obesity may directly affect the brain resulting in dementia. Also, the effects of obesity on dementia may be indirect as obesity increases the risk factors of dementia such as heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Symptoms of dementia are forgetfulness, memory loss, difficulty in doing daily tasks etc. People in their 40s should lookout for symptoms of obesity and dementia. They should be careful to overcome obesity to decrease the risk of dementia.

Some simple measures to lose weight

  • Don’t act in hurry. Instead, reduce the amount of calories consumed in a day slowly but steadily.
  • Try to be more active and take some form of exercise three times a week.
  • Don’t over exert yourself. This is particularly relevant for the over 60s. Even 30 minutes of gardening burns off around 200 calories.
  • If you suffer from any existing medical conditions or take any medication it is a good idea to consult a doctor before attempting to lose weight as you may require specific advice.