Why do I feel like someone’s trying to tell me something?
We all know that being overweight can lead to a number of health problems. We hear about the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke. But, now a group of researchers is asserting that middle-aged obesity may actually accelerate the shrinking of the brain.
Brain shrinkage is a natural occurrence as we age. However, according to these scientists, being heavier can actually cause this process to speed up and leave one with a brain that is, essentially, ten years older than a person of a more ideal weight.
According to the National Institute of Health, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese (a body mass index, or BMI, greater than 30). When you add in overweight adults (BMI > 25), this number jumps to over 68%. As you can see, this is quite a risk pool.
Researcher aren’t claiming that being overweight affects one ability to reason or process information. They are saying, however, that their results indicate a need to look at the effects, as there may be serious health implication here.
But, it’s not all gloom-and-doom. Researchers hold out hope that this might be reversible to some extent.
“The fact that we only saw these differences from middle-age onwards raises the possibility that we may be particularly vulnerable at this age. It will also be important to find out whether these changes could be reversible with weight loss, which may well be the case.”
Regardless, this is one of those reminders that, as we get older, we need to be taking care of ourselves. Making the second halves of our lives amazing should include being the healthiest versions of ourselves we can reasonably be.