Update on a Link between Obesity and Dementia

A strong relation between dementia and poor cardiovascular has been established, and we also know that obesity leads to cardiovascular problems.  However, some studies show an actual protective effect of being overweight in some areas of health.  In fact, some studies showed that obesity leads to lower dementia rates, others don’t.   But what about obesity and dementia?   Is there a direct link?

Recent news http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2019/01/09/WNL.0000000000006879 from a study in Great Britain of almost 10000 patients (average age 55) found that a lower amount of “gray matter” and other areas in the brain were linked to higher levels of obesity. Research has also linked brain shrinkage to memory decline and dementia as well.

It remains to be seen if the grey matter loss can be reversed, are at least slowed down if one can respond with a healthy weight loss.  Still, an interesting message here is that the effects of obesity can occur even in our middle ages.  For many readers, if you are obese or overweight, you might feel this article is reaching out even to you as a child of an elder parent. So at your younger age, you might want to take action now before these effects set in for several more decades.

There are too many reasons to maintain a healthy weight, including the avoidance of diabetes and many other diseases including cancer.  I would advise that if your elder parents or loved ones are obese, given that dementia is a big risk factor to lose their independence, speak to them about this issue, and have them see their physician about a safe weight loss program that is easy to follow and stick to. The Aquavore diet (www.aquavorediet.com) provides a fun and nutritious way anyone can lose weight and get good hydration.

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