A new study has found that people who are obese in their 40s are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as they grow older.
The study, by a team of researchers led by Rachel A. Whitmer, PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Foundation Research Institute, was based on data collected from nearly 9,000 people over a period of up to 30 years.
The researchers found that people in their 40s with higher skinfold measurements below the shoulder and at the back of the upper arm were more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those with smaller skinfold measurements.
Dr Whitmer said that though further studies were needed, the findings showed keeping weight down in midlife can help people remain mentally alert later on in life.
“These findings are important because obesity and overweight are treatable and modifiable risk factors. These results need to be confirmed, but these results suggest that keeping your weight down in midlife can help you remain mentally alert later on in life. And if we don’t control the current epidemic of obesity, the number of cases of dementia in the future may increase even higher than is currently predicted,” she said.