Obesity Linked to Alzheimer's
The obesity epidemic shows no sign of slowing down, with the World Health Organization estimating that over 300 million people are obese worldwide and over a billion are overweight.
While it has long been known that obesity seriously increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
The groundbreaking study was published in the August 2009 issue of the journal Brain Mapping.
For the study, UCLA researchers scanned the brains of 94 obese, overweight and normal weight individuals in their 70s.
The researchers categorized the participants into weight groups based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), the most widely used measurement for obesity. Normal weight was defined as a BMI between 18.5-25; overweight as a BMI of 25-30, and any BMI over 30 was considered obese.
They found that obese participants had an average decrease in brain tissue of 13% compared to normal weight individuals and overweight participants had an 8% decrease.
According to the researchers, that is an astounding loss of brain tissue which seriously depletes your cognitive reserves and increases your risk of Alzheimer's.
In fact, the scans showed that the brains of obese people looked 16 years older than normal weight individuals and those of overweight people looked 8 years older.
These findings provide solid scientific evidence that remaining active and eating healthy is essential for not only physical health but mental health as well. Here are some good strategies that can help you:
Eat a brain-healthy diet such as foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Keep your mind active: attending social events or solving puzzles is a great way to keep your mind sharp.
Sleep regularly and restfully
Learn to relax