Abdominal Fat Increases Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

 It is well know that extra weight in the abdominal region increases the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.  Now it appears that Alzheimer’s disease can be added to that list as well.  A study published by the Journal of Neurology found that individuals in their 40s who were obese and carried extra weight in the midsection were 3.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia later in life than those with a healthy weight and belly size.  Individuals who maintained a healthy weight but carried extra fat in the abdominal region were 1.9 times more likely to develop dementia.

So how do you know if your mid-section puts you at risk?  The best way is to measure your waist circumference.  You may be at greater risk if you are a women and your waist is > 35 inches, or if it is > 40 inches for a man.  The good news is that this is a controllable risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.  So, if your mid-section measurements put you at greater risk, there is no better time than today to start working on brining those inches down.

It is important to remember that you can’t “spot reduce”.  So, the best way to lose that abdominal weight is to follow the same principles that apply for general weight loss.  You must consume fewer calories than you burn, by exercising to burn extra calories and/or cutting back on the calories you consume.  See “Do You Know Your Calorie Needs?” for more weight loss tips.   

For more information, view the clip that was shown on the NBC Today Show on Belly Bulge Now Could Mean Dementia Later.