Obesity linked to poorer mental skills in seniors

March 22, 2012
Obesity linked to poorer mental skills in seniors
The belly worst place to carry extra weight, study says.

(HealthDay) -- Obesity is associated with reduced memory and thinking skills in adults aged 60 to 70, especially those with greater amounts of abdominal fat, according to a new study.

The study included 250 people aged 60 and older who underwent various measurements of their body fat and a test of thinking skills.

The researchers found that a high (BMI) was associated with increased risk of poor cognitive (mental) performance in people aged 60 to 70. BMI uses a person's height and weight to estimate their amount of body fat. In general, a higher BMI means more body fat.

The study also found that those with the highest level of abdominal fat tended to have worse thinking skills than those with the least amount of abdominal fat.

Among the participants aged 60 to 70, those who were obese were older, more likely to be male and more likely to have than those who weren't obese.

There was no association between obesity and reduced mental skills among people older than 70, according to the study in the journal Age and Ageing.

"Our findings have important public health implications. The prevention of obesity, particularly central obesity, might be important for the prevention of or dementia," lead author Dae Hyun Yoon, of the Seoul National University Hospital Healthcare System in South Korea, said in a journal news release.

Although the study found that aged 60 to 70 tended to have poorer , it did not prove that obesity caused people to have worse memory or mental skills.

Explore further: 'Belly fat' linked to development of asthma

More information: The Society for Neuroscience offers advice about healthy brain aging.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Older people getting smarter, but not fitter

August 31, 2015

Older populations are scoring better on cognitive tests than people of the same age did in the past —a trend that could be linked to higher education rates and increased use of technology in our daily lives, say IIASA population ...

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.