(WellnessNova.com) - Being obese or even overweight puts you in danger for Alzheimer’s and dementia when you’re older. New research shows being obese during your late 30s to 40s doubles your risk for developing neurodegenerative diseases. Past studies show that simply being overweight increases your chances for developing dementia. Thus, being outside of your healthy BMI range can make you lose your marbles later down the road!
How does being overweight cause dementia?
The hippocampus temporarily stores and sorts real-time new memories before either discarding them after their usefuleness (short-term memories) or sending them to other parts of the brain where they’re converted into long-term memories. Consequently, the hippocampus plays a large role in learning and cognition.
Obesity weakens the bridge between the hippocampus and the rest of the brain. If the connection between the hippocampus and other parts of the brain is weakened then your ability to learn and create long-term memories may become impaired. Scientists aren’t sure why being overweight weakens this bridge (called the “fornix”), but one thing’s for certain: You can prevent this by staying fit!
If you’re middle-aged you’re more likely to gain weight
As we age our metabolisms may get slower, meaning more calories are converted to fat. This is why it’s easier to become overweight when you reach mid-life ages.
Additionally, most middle-aged professionals are less physically active now that they’re higher up in their careers, trading errand-intensive duties for managerial oversight. This increases their risk for becoming overweight.
How can you prevent obesity in your middle ages?
Here are a few things you can do to prevent obesity:
- Increase your daily exercise to burn more calories
- Replace simple carb foods (e.g. white rice, desserts) with complex carb foods (e.g. red potatoes, blueberries, nuts)
- Eat metabolism-boosting foods (e.g. spices, dark chocolate)
Protect your brain by staying fit! Doing a little more cardio or trading toast for almonds everyday can keep you sharp in your 60s and 70s.