Evidence has shown that not only does being overweight cause memory deterioration over time and increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease, it can be affecting your memory right now.
A study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping used brain images to determine that the brains of obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue and appeared 16 years older than the brains of lean individuals. Those who were merely overweight had 4 percent less brain tissue and had brains that appeared 8 years older than lean individuals.
Another example is a long-term, multicenter trial by the Women’s Health Initiative that tracked more than 160,000 older women for over 15 years, starting in 1991, found that for every one point increase in body mass index (BMI: a standard measure for body weight), there was a one point drop in cognitive performance scores. This association persisted even after controlling for high blood pressure and diabetes, which suggests that the loss of cognitive ability isn’t just from poor blood circulation to the brain. The researchers felt that being overweight, in and of itself, was probably affecting the brain.
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