Posted Feb 5, 2009
A big middle in middle age may mean big trouble for your older brain.
Scientists studied more than 6,500 members of the Kaiser Permanente of Northern California health plan for 36 years. The researchers measured each person’s sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD). That’s the distance from your back to the front of your belly (measured halfway between the bottom of your ribs and the top of your pelvic bone).
The risk of dementia was 2.3 times higher in people who had a big belly (SAD of at least 10 inches) and were overweight when they entered the study than in those who had normal weight and a smaller belly. Dementia was 3.6 times more likely in those who had a big belly and were obese when they started the study.
People who were overweight or obese- but not bigbellied- were 1.8 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Having large thighs had no impact on the risk of dementia, regardless of weight.
What to do: Eat less, eat healthier foods, and move more to lose- or avoid gaining- a big belly.
Neurology 71: 1057, 2008.
Date: Jan 29, 2009