It’s well known that obesity is associated with various health problems, such as an increased risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Now, a new study has also found that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to develop dementia than those with a normal body weight.
The study, published in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia journal, analyzed data from 1.3 million adults living in the United States and Europe. The study discovered two key findings: one, higher levels of body fat were associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life; and two, being underweight later in life was associated with the impending onset of dementia.
“…People who develop dementia may have a higher-than-average body mass index some 20 years before dementia onset, but [those] close to [developing] overt dementia have a lower BMI than those who remain healthy,” said lead author Mika Kivimäki, professor at University of College London’s Institute of Epidemiology & Health. The study confirms the negative effect of obesity as well as weight loss caused by metabolic changes during the pre-dementia stage.
The good news regarding this study is that more controllable risk factors are being discovered for dementia. Research shows that each five-point increase in BMI can increase the risk of dementia by 16-33 percent.
This statistic is just another reason why it is so important to maintain a healthy weight throughout our adult years. In order to help prevent, or at least delay, the onset of dementia, the study suggests maintaining a healthy weight. A great way to get started would be to talk to your doctor about weight loss options.
One option you may want to discuss with your physician to help you jump start your weight loss is the ReShape® weight loss program. Designed for individuals with a BMI of 30-40, the program combines the benefits of a non-surgical gastric balloon with the tools and resources you’ll need to achieve healthy weight loss goals.
Unlike weight loss surgeries, the ReShape weight loss balloon is not a permanent implant and does not permanently reroute your digestive system. Insertion of the intragastric balloon is completed in about 20 minutes, with no hospital stay required, so you can get in and out and on your way to weight loss.
To help you stay focused and on track, the ReShape weight loss program also includes a year of personalized coaching, a wireless scale, patient resources, and exclusive access to the ReShape Patient Portal where you can track your weight loss, physical activity, and food intake.