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On April 24, 2013, Posted by , In Healthy Eating,Home Care, By ,, , With Comments Off on Franklin, MI – Home Care Services

Watch Your Weight and Help Protect Your Brain

Staying healthy and maintaining a normal weight may be good not only for your body but also for your brain. A 10-year study of 6,401 British civil servants, initially ages 39 to 63, reports an association between being overweight or obese and impaired cognitive function. Combined with other health issues (“metabolic abnormalities”) such as diabetes or high cholesterol, extra weight also increased the odds of mental decline over time.

One of the most important findings of a recently published study was that amongst metabolically healthy individuals, higherBMIwas associated with worse cognitive function. Furthermore, in the metabolically unhealthy group, higherBMIwas associated with greater cognitive decline over a 10-year period. This trend over time was not seen in the metabolically healthy group.

Those associations underline the importance of maintaining a healthy weight—not only for your physical health but, apparently, for a healthy brain as well. Like obesity and overweight, moreover, most of the metabolic abnormalities also associated with poorer cognitive performance can be combated with healthy eating and lifestyle.

10-YEAR FOLLOWUP. In the new study published in Neurology compared body-mass index (BMI) and various metabolic conditions with cognitive function at baseline and after five and 10 years. Participants were assessed using tests including reasoning, memory and semantic fluency. In addition to reportingBMI, participants were asked about other health factors and were classified as “metabolically abnormal” if they had two or more conditions such as high cholesterol or triglycerides, high blood pressure, low “good”HDL cholesterol, high glucose or diabetes.

Overall, 38.2% of participants were overweight and 9.1% were obese. Among all participants, 31% were categorized as metabolically abnormal, while among the obese civil servants that rate was 60.1%.

AT RISK FOR DECLINE. The study stated that lowerBMI was associated with better cognition at the study’s start. Over time, those with multiple markers of metabolic abnormality were more likely to develop impaired cognitive function. In follow-up mental testing, those who were both obese and metabolically abnormal were significantly more likely to show a faster rate of cognitive decline.


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