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Obesity in Middle Age May Double Dementia Risk

Obesity has become an epidemic in the Western world and has long been associated with numerous adverse health effects. A recent study now shows that obesity may be detrimental not only to your physical health but to your mental health as well.

The results of the study were published in the December 2009 issue of the journal Neurology.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. It began in the late 1960's and included nearly 1,500 women between 38 and 60 years of age. Over 32 years of follow-up, the women underwent extensive examinations to measure dementia.

By the end of the study, 161 (10%) of the women were diagnosed with dementia with an average age of 75 at diagnosis.

The researchers found that women with a waist larger than their hips in middle age were more than twice as likely to develop dementia later in life.

They also noted that people carrying a lot of fat around their waist are more likely to die prematurely due to stroke or heart attack, a finding that confirms a large body of previous research.

The most dangerous kind of waist fat is the fat surrounding your internal organs, known as belly fat. The secret to losing that fat and keeping it off it comes down to dieting and exercising.

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