You May Also Like

Susan Miller says this astrological sign is about to have the healthiest 2018

The 2018 Golden Globe nominations highlight athletic boss babes

Airbnb’s 10 most-booked cities add up to a global, urban wanderlusting bucket list


Mandy Moore’s best advice comes down to just one word

Tampons in the tundra: What we can learn from the first woman to ski across Antarctica

Why your relationships may be key to your longevity

Avoiding obesity might help you dodge this degenerative disease


salad prep Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Darren Muir

Obesity has been linked to serious side effects like diabetes and cancer, and now there’s a chance those with a higher BMI are more likely to develop dementia too.

In a new study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, researchers looked at data from 1.3 million US and European adults and found a higher BMI could help predict their dementia diagnosis 20 years before the actual onset: According to the results, for every five-unit increase in BMI—which equals about 32 pounds for a five-foot-seven-inch person—there was up to a 33 percent higher risk of the disease.

Even more interesting? Though having a high BMI years—or even decades—ahead of developing dementia may have a predictive correlation, research shows it’s also relatively common to have a lower-than-average BMI right before the diagnosis. It’s quite the boomerang effect.

“People who develop dementia may have a higher-than-average body mass index some 20 years before dementia onset, but closer to overt dementia, have a lower BMI than those who remain healthy.” —Mika Kivimäki, PhD

“The BMI-dementia association, is actually attributable to two processes,” said lead study author Mika Kivimäki, PhD, in a press release. “One is an adverse effect of excess body fat on dementia risk. The other is weight loss due to pre-clinical dementia. For this reason, people who develop dementia may have a higher-than-average body mass index some 20 years before dementia onset, but closer to overt dementia, have a lower BMI than those who remain healthy.”

Ultimately, the study authors say maintaining a healthy weight could prevent or delay dementia later in life, so invest in your well-being by eating a nutritious diet, getting an appropriate amount of sleep, and exercising regularly.

These delicious foods will help boost your brain power. And, learn how Alzheimer’s disease could be totally eradicated within a decade.