According to new research from the medical journal Neurology, the longer you carry extra adipose tissue (fat) particularly around the mid-section of your body, the higher your risk of developing dementia later in life.
This comprehensive study evaluated 6,583 individuals who had their waists measured regularly from 1964 to 1973. Diagnoses of dementia were attained from medical records an average of 36 years later, January 1, 1994, to June 16, 2006.
The results of this study indicate that the greater the size of the abdominal section, the higher the percentage chance of developing dementia. Those individuals that were obese had the highest risk of dementia, with an increased risk by 260%.
The conclusion of this study suggests that central obesity particularly in midlife increases risk of dementia independent of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The most frightening part of this study can be seen when you look in the mirror. 50% of adults in the United States have central abdominal obesity. The fact is that obesity contributes to cognitive impairment. In addition to being more likely to have late-life heart disease and diabetes, those individuals who carry the extra adipose tissue particularly around the abdominal area are significantly more likely to lose their minds.
Think about it, 50% of the adults in the United States are obese and carry too much fat in their abdominal area. This will in most instances lead to chronic long term disease later in life and eventual death. The facts speak for themselves. In most instances, the solution is simple. Eat less, eat healthy, and exercise regularly.
We are currently in a nationwide debate led by our president over healthcare. Unfortunately, I feel that neither side of the isle has the solution. Instead they are looking at the crisis reactively. Let’s change the way we think. Let’s focus on health education. If individuals took more responsibility for their health, we as a nation would reduce our health costs dramatically.
Personally, I have paid approximately $9,000 per year each year for health care coverage for my wife, my three children and myself. In 10 years that adds up to about $90,000. We have visited the doctor twice during this 10 year period. Once we saw the orthopedic for a broken bone and once the pediatrician for an infection. Now, I am not complaining about my premium. I carry this in the event of something catastrophic and if something serious were to happen I know that the best hospitals and the best doctors in the world will be available to us.
My point is to illustrate the concept of good health. My wife and I eat well and exercise just about everyday. Our children do the same. They have never consumed any kind of soft drink and they take fish oil supplementation each day. They are incredibly active and spend little “screen time” in front of computers, television, or games.
I am certain that if the average family switched their paradigm of thinking and being from that of fast food and television to one more similar to the health paradigm that my family lives, we could take that 50% obesity figure and reduce it to 10%. Think about how this would reduce health costs and allow for healthier, happier people that live long and think more clearly.
R.A. Whitmer, PhD, et al. Central obesity and increased risk of dementia more than three decades later. Neurology; published ahead of print on March 26, 2008.