Being Overweight Increases Cognitive Decline

Being Overweight Increases Cognitive Decline

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Research suggests that being overweight is not just a burden on the physical form, your brain is also negatively affected too.

Latest studies emerged from the University of Arizona that state obesity causes inflammation which leads to cognitive decline in older adults.

When you have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) it can cause inflammation in the brain which attacks cognitive function.


The study focused on data available from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging which contains more than 12 years of information regaridng the health, well-being, social and economic position of the population in England who are over 50 years of age.

The report confirmed that those participants’ of a higher BMI showed a greater decline of their cognitive health due to systematic increases of inflammation levels.

This research opened up a new wave of results regarding inflammation, cognitive health and the role of BMI.

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It is accepted that cognitive function declines as we age, however, this is the first correlation evidence that links BMI to that decline.

This means we now have more information available to prevent cognitive decline.

The use of anti-inflammatories will present a dual benefit by reduction inflammation and assist with cognitive function.

However, let us not forget that a healthy body weight is the key to overall good health. Being a healthy weight prevents many other complications, notwithstanding the effect it can have on testosterone levels.


Bearing in mind that almost 70% of the US population is considered overweight and the same figure of high school leavers are also considered unfit for military service present a worrying trend for the future cognitive health of not only the US but other countries.

It therefore makes prudent sense to prevent a population from becoming obese in the first place with greater education of nutrition and exercise programs to increase physical activity levels. This way the ageing population will be more self sufficient and independent.


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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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