Sign up FAST! Login

Being fat in middle age reduces risk of developing dementia, researchers say

Stashed in: Science!, Brain, Awesome, Health Studies, Alzheimer's

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Obesity seems to be protective against dementia! 

That seems to include protection against Alzheimer's, too. 

LONDON — A surprising study contradicting all previous research found that being fat in middle age appears to cut the risk of developing dementia rather than increase it, the Lancet scientific journal has reported.

A study of two million people found that the underweight were far more likely to develop dementia, a growing problem among the elderly in the Western world. 

Underweight people had a 34 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those of a normal weight, the study found, while the very obese had a 29 percent lower risk of becoming forgetful and confused and showing other signs of senility.

Obesity levels, like dementia levels, are soaring worldwide. 

Researchers said that if other studies confirm the findings, the next step would be to examine if people who eat more unknowingly take in dementia-fighting nutrients in the extra food they consume. 

The study, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, flies in the face of previous smaller studies — and much modern health advice — that what is good for the heart is also good for the head.

2008 study of 6,000 people published in the Neurology journal found that people who have big bellies in their ’40s were much more likely to get Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in their ’70s. That study was among the first to link middle-aged spread to a fading mind. 

But the new research “overshadows those (previous studies) by orders of magnitude,” said Nawab Qizilbash of Oxon Epidemiology, who led the study. “We show completely the opposite,” Qizilbash said, as quoted by the Times of London.

You May Also Like: