People who are obese are more likely to have poor cognitive function, as per a recent South Korean study, based on survey data from over 250 people.
Researchers at South Korea’s Seoul National University Hospital studied the body mass index (BMI) data of more than 250 people in the age group between 60 and 70 years. They also took measurements of waist circumference and performed scans to find the amount of fat deposited in the abdominal region. The subjects were also assessed for their performance on tests for cognitive functioning.
The results of this study show that compared to persons with the normal body weight, persons who are overweight and obese have much lower cognitive performance. Reporting these findings, the author of the study Dae Hyun Yoon said:
“Our findings have important public health implications. The prevention of obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important for the prevention of cognitive decline or dementia.”
The Alzheimer’s Society of UK reacted to these findings published in the journal Age and Ageing, with a statement that said:
“We have all heard how a high BMI is bad for our heart but this research suggests it could also be bad for the head. Although we don`t know whether the people in this study went on to develop dementia, these findings add to the evidence that excess body fat could impact on brain function.”
Doctors presently advice people to exercise regularly to keep their weight within the healthy range and control their dietary intake. Both these methods help keep blood glucose and cholesterol levels within the permitted range, and increase longevity.
However, considering the findings of this study, it appears that another benefit doctors ought to emphasize is that these steps can help keep the brain agile and prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.