According to a study which focused on twins from Sweden, dementia and carrying extra pounds are linked together. This study focused on twins for a span of 30 years. It has been claimed that having those extra pounds while on the middle age years has become riskier to develop dementia.
This research did not actually focus on proving that the added weight causes dementia but the evidences from it are definitely pointing towards that direction. The lead author of the study is Dr. Weili Xu, and is from the Karolinska Institutet based in Stockholm.
Findings that have been published in the Neurology journal basically suggest that controlling body fat during the middle life stages is important to prevent dementia.
9,000 Swedish twins were the basis of data that were analyzed by Dr. Xu and company.
During their average age reached 43, the twins were asked by researchers regarding their weight and height.
After thirty years, the researchers studied the actual people involved for signs of waning memory skills and thinking. Some were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and different types of dementia.
Almost 1 in 3 of the actual participants was obese or overweight during their middle age years. They were 80 percent higher in risk to get any type of dementia compared to people that have normal weight.
The study showed that the more they weighed during mid-life, the higher their chance of acquiring dementia or questionable dementia which means that they had signs of reasoning and thinking problems but not sufficient to be exactly called as dementia.
All in all, around 4 percent was diagnosed with actual dementia and 1-2 percent was with questionable dementia.
Despite of the results, Dr. Xu still suggests that the findings could not be easily established due to such a small sample. Nonetheless, whether genes actually predispose a person to be overweight in adulthood or it was just bad eating habits, the most probable explanation is that fat tissue inside the body actually releases hormones that may have an effect to the functioning capabilities of the brain.
Adding up to this, Xu said that extra weight has been seen to add risk to a person to have heart diseases, diabetes, etc. and these conditions are actually related to dementia risk that is higher. Nevertheless, dementia and weight link remained even if the researchers took account other types of diseases.
In conclusion, according to Rachel Whitmer, who is an epidemiologist, what you do today affects you 30 or 40 years from now. She also added that maintaining a healthy weight is important and that people should take not that anything that is good for the heart is basically good for the brain.