Obesity Causes Dementia!?

Whoa, and Happy Tuesday! It is Obesity Awareness Month, so be sure and check out all of the other posts on this topic in the archives, or just search the word obesity.

Dementia touches my life in so many ways. I work on a Memory Care Unit with Dementia residents, and I have a loved one suffering from this horrible disease. I am not going to go into all the details of Dementia, now, but it will be discussed in more details on Memory Care Mondays. It is an unkind disease that robs your brain of memories and basic life skills.

I know there is a body positivity movement, and I love that. It is great to love yourself and know that you are beautiful no matter your size. I saw one of these influencers on Youtube state that losing weight is torture and self abuse. While I agree it is not a lot of fun to put yourself into the throws of an exercise regime, eating less food, and lifestyle changes. But, I also think you have to be Mindful of what studies say Obesity really can, and does do to the human body.

You will find a few videos below. They are short, and some talk about the Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle to help with Obesity and prevent Dementia.

But, what about the statement does Obesity cause Dementia. I like facts, with real data, and controlled studies. They make me happy. Now, if you don’t understand all of the jargon in the study, just read the conclusion.

There are a few things I would like to point out about Obesity and Dementia. Obesity is complicated, and so is Dementia. But, the study I am sharing does show a correlation between Obesity in midlife and a definite increase in Obesity. Now, why I find that really interesting is, if you look at the way they did the study mild cognitive injury appears to show up about 12 years before diagnosis, and the average age of diagnosis was about 75. That means mild cognitive changes probably started around age 63 or sooner. But, Obesity at ages 60 and 70 seemed to be protective. Why? If someone is already starting to have mild cognitive changes, say as early in the 50s when they are Obese, when they start to decrease their food intake, as the disease progresses, the extra weight proves to be protective. Did that make sense? It makes sense to me. Being underweight at ages 60 and 70 proved to increase mortality. They tend to forget to cook, not eat, or just don’t want too. In another words, it is mixed. You need to not be Obese in midlife and below to help prevent Dementia in the first place, but if you are obese in your 60s and 70s it is protective because you are going to need a little extra weight when you don’t want to eat anymore. If you are young and you think carrying all this extra weight does not seem to be harming me, you might want to rethink that.

The reasons for this is most likely because of the inflammatory processes caused by Obesity, and vascular changes caused by Obesity. If you don’t want Dementia, and trust me you probably don’t, giving yourself a little self love now, by losing weight, and maintaining it can help prevent Dementia. Following the Mediterranean Diet is a great start. This style of eating has been shown to be protective against Dementia, and other chronic illnesses too.

If you would like to start walking to increase your daily activity, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.


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