Obesity Linked to Memory Loss

Excess body fat affects the brain in older women.

BY: C. Gatti

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Excess body fat affects the brain in older women. Recent studies showed that obesity in mice showed poor memory compared to leaner subjects. Also body shape matters and it’s becoming more important where fat deposits are located in the body.

Fat cells release substances in the blood that go to the additional parts of the body and could cause inflammation and other illnesses like Alzheimer's disease.

Women who are pear shaped carry excess weight around the hips experienced increased memory loss compared to those that have an apple shape body, the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, reported in a survey of women between the ages of 65-79.

Lead author of the study, Diana Kerwin, M.D. said that fat could have something to do with cognitive function and Alzheimer's disease by restricting blood flow to the brain.

“The study tells us if we have a woman in our office, and we know from her waist-to-hip ratio that she's carrying excess fat on her hips, we might be more aggressive with weight loss. We can't change where your fat is located, but having less of it is better.”

One in three people will die of dementia after the age of 65. An estimated 17.2 percent of women are at risk for Alzheimer's disease in the US compared to men, which is 9.1 percent.

“Compared with being in the normal weight range, being underweight was associated with a 36 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease while being obese was associated with a 42 percent higher risk,” Harvard University reported.

What can you do?

The experts recommend that people need to get moving, restrict the amount of calories and fat intake. Talk to a doctor how to get started, and try adding greens, fruits, and beans to your diet.

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