Researchers in Britain have found yet another reason to be concerned about our growing obesity problem. In their research of over 6000 people, they found that obesity may have a more rapid decline in cognitive skills and memory.

This study spanned over ten years which during that time, participants were tested 3 times. These tests included cognitive skills for memory, reasoning, and verbal fluency. Body Mass Index (BMI) was used to measure obesity where 25 – 29.9 was categorized as overweight and 30 or greater was considered obese.

Metabolic testing was also included and was defined as having two or more risk factors. These included high blood pressure (or taking medication), low HDL, high glucose or taking medication for diabetes, and high triglycerides or medication to lower them.

Those who were obese and had 2 or more risk factors showed a 22.5% faster decline in mental status. However, those who did not have 2 or more risk factors, but were still obese also showed a rapid decline. Therefore, this study appears to argue the “Fit, but Fat” perception that individuals may have. Whether you are fit or not, your obesity plays a large role in your health.

Paddock, Catharine, PhD. “Obesity May Speed Up Mental Decline.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl. 21, Aug. 2012.