More Weight = Less Brains.
While I was researching Body Mass Index, I came across a paper that looked at a total of four different factors, which I briefly mention below, all are associated with brain shrinkage in one way or another, however, one of which, that of having a high BMI, which can shrink your brain, and cause dementia which is my field of focus for this article…
- The Framingham Offspring Cohort Study Group.
- What The Body Mass Index Is.
- What Scientists Did Find, Was Most Surprising.
The Framingham Offspring Cohort Study Group.
The four factors that were associated with faster declines in brain volume were:
* Overweight or obese,
* High blood pressure.
* Cigarette smoking
This study included 1,352 adults who shared a common age, that of 54 and also did not suffer from dementia at the beginning of the study, and all were participants of the Framingham Offspring Cohort Study (this group comprised the offspring of the participants of the original Framingham Heart Study group..
To start with, researchers had administered a battery of tests, including measures for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which had started seven years later, they measured the study groups’ brain size using MRI scans and also gave participants cognitive tests to gauge executive function, planning and organizational skills.
What The Body Mass Index Is.
Allow me to fill you in on a little A little background information first… BMI is an indirect way with which to calculate your total body fat based on your present height and weight. While it’s not a perfect measure, and can be especially inaccurate for athletes and older people who are frail, but, for most others, BMI may indicate whether your weight can be termed, healthy or possibly putting you at risk for disease.
* Naturally, you need to discuss this with a doctor before making any assumptions about your BMI and your weight.
I have already mentioned about the link between dementia and weight. One of several studies I researched, states that simply having a big stomach, in mid-life actually increases your risk of disease and possibly even death in later years… whether you’re overweight or not.
Scientists aren’t even sure why this is the case, but having a big belly is already linked to a risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. So perhaps these diseases are the precursor of brain shrinkage and dementia associated with a high BMI. No one really knows for certain yet.
What Scientists Did Find, Was Most Surprising.
A higher BMI for both women and men was definitely linked to lower brain volumes, particularly in older and middle-aged adults. Therefore, the following conclusion may be made, namely that having a higher BMI, causes brain shrinkage. However, researchers have found that the link between abdominal fat and brain size is definitely strongest, thus, the more belly fat, the smaller the brain. This brain-belly fat link, held, no matter what a person’s BMI was.
It appears also, that belly fat is a stronger sign of dementia than that of BMI. (Previous studies have shown that people with smaller brains also have a higher risk of dementia.) If you would like to track your BMI, take a look at it HERE