We all know that we need to watch our weight, and that excess weight and obesity can lead to health conditions and complications such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. But new studies also show a link between obesity and cognitive decline.
A 10-year-long British study found that, even among metabolically healthy participants, individuals with higher BMI (Body Mass Index) performed worse on cognitive function tests than those with normal BMI. Those with high BMI and metabolic abnormalities, such as diabetes and/or high cholesterol, demonstrated even greater, and a faster rate of, cognitive decline.
The tests administered to participants included assessments of reasoning, memory, and semantic fluency, all of which are executive functions necessary for the activities of daily living.
Luckily for us, a lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a diet of whole foods in healthy proportions can help us stay trim, leading to vibrant health, longevity, and sharper cognitive functioning.
“Watch You Weight and Help Protect Your Brain”. Health & Nutrition Letter, Volume 3G, 2016, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.