The ideal body weight looks different for everyone; it depends on genetics, age, and overall health. For many, being excessively overweight can contribute to health problems. While some minor issues are acne or lack of energy, they can cause more significant problems, such as heart issues and joint pain. Most people are familiar with these effects, but did you know that being overweight can also increase your risk of developing dementia?
A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology revealed that obesity might increase the risk of developing dementia. The good news is it is a modifiable risk that can be reduced through lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and exercise. But it’s important to learn about the link between body weight and dementia to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Why Is It Important to Learn About Weight & Dementia?
Dementia and obesity are both prevalent problems affecting lives worldwide. So, it’s important to learn about the link between the two to prevent one from influencing the other. Identifying obesity in its early stages still allows you to prevent it from affecting your health. You can consult a medical professional to find out the root cause of the weight and look for ways to control it to reduce your risk of developing dementia.
How Does Obesity Increase the Risk of Dementia?
The abovementioned study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology examined a group of individuals at least 50 years old. They tracked the participants’ BMI and found that those who were overweight or obese were at higher risk of developing dementia.
According to the National Institute for Healthcare and Research, “excess body fat increases inflammation which might contribute to the build-up of damaging proteins in the brain.” Although the link between body weight and dementia is unclear based on prior research, more studies are being conducted to understand the connection. In general, healthier weight benefits individuals of any age, protecting them from several health conditions.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia Due to Weight?
Maintaining a healthy weight does not mean you’re protected from dementia, as many other factors can contribute to dementia, such as genetics, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions. But if you’re concerned about developing dementia due to weight, making some lifestyle changes might be worth it.
Consult a Professional
The best way to reduce the risk of dementia due to weight gain is by consulting a medical professional. You can speak to a weight loss expert or nutritionist to get to the root cause of the issue. For some people, weight gain occurs due to medical concerns, which can be controlled with treatment and medication. But others may gain weight due to lifestyle habits.
If you’re already experiencing dementia symptoms, whether it is due to weight or other reasons, it might be helpful to contact a memory care specialist. Look for private dementia care homes in your area that can better help you understand how dementia may affect your life. A dementia care home staffed with registered nurses can spend time with you and help you create a care plan that helps you live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Change Eating Habits
What you eat contributes to your weight, so it’s important to look at your diet and switch things. Ditch processed foods and limit your sugar and junk food consumption to bid farewell to bad habits. Add whole foods and nutrient-rich items to your diet, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
Get Physically Active
A great way to lose weight and keep extra weight off is by staying physically active. This doesn’t mean you must spend an hour at the gym daily. Choose a workout routine that works for you, whether running, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Consistent physical activity will keep your body healthy, mind positive, and reduce the risk of developing dementia or slow down its progression.