-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated
with reduced memory and thinking skills in adults aged 60 to 70,
especially those with greater amounts of abdominal fat, according
to a new study.
The study included 250 people aged 60 and older who underwent
various measurements of their body fat and a test of thinking
The researchers found that a high body mass index (BMI) was
associated with increased risk of poor cognitive (mental)
performance in people aged 60 to 70. BMI uses a person's height and
weight to estimate their amount of body fat. In general, a higher
BMI means more body fat.
The study also found that those with the highest level of
abdominal fat tended to have worse thinking skills than those with
the least amount of abdominal fat.
Among the participants aged 60 to 70, those who were obese were
older, more likely to be male and more likely to have high blood
pressure than those who weren't obese.
There was no association between obesity and reduced mental
skills among people older than 70, according to the study in the
Age and Ageing.
"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," lead author Dae Hyun Yoon, of the Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System in South Korea, said in a journal news release.
Although the study found that obese adults aged 60 to 70 tended
to have poorer thinking skills, it did not prove that obesity
caused people to have worse memory or mental skills.
The Society for Neuroscience offers advice about
healthy brain aging.
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