Being obese in middle age is a known risk factor, not only for heart disease, but for dementia. But in recent years, there’s been some suggestion that the so-called “healthy” obese, those whose obesity is not accompanied by other risk factors like high glucose or high cholesterol, don’t have an increased risk of heart disease or other health conditions. What wasn’t known, however, was whether the healthy obese are also safe from the more rapid decline in cognitive function.
Now, researchers in Europe have answered this question. According to a new study, published in the journal Neurology, obesity in and of itself increases the speed of mental decline over time. There is no “healthy overweight” when it comes to preserving your mind.
The study included about 6,400 middle-aged adults, averaging about 50 years old at the start of the study. The researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), collected information on body mass index (BMI) and other metabolic risk factors as well as on memory and other cognitive skills at the beginning of the study. The participants were then retested for memory and cognitive skills three times over the next 10 years.
About 40 percent of the 582 participants who were obese were considered metabolically healthy. Participants were classified as metabolically unhealthy if they had two or more of the following risk factors: high blood pressure or taking medication for it; low HDL or “good” cholesterol; high blood sugar or taking diabetes medication; or high triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood).
“Obesity, in those who were metabolically healthy and unhealthy, was associated with poor cognitive function at the start of the study and greater cognitive decline over 10 years,” said Archana Singh-Manoux, research director at INSERM and a co-author of the study…
Read more: Fox News