People who have more belly fat during middle age, even those considered to be of normal weight, have higher rates of dementia when they reach old age, according to a study in the journal Neurology. The link highlights a body of work showing that health is affected by not just overall body weight but how the weight is distributed.
Too much abdominal fat, which extends into the body cavity around major organs, is known to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. These new findings, published Wednesday, show that large amounts of belly fat are associated with declining cognitive function as well.
"There is something very potent about collecting fat in your belly," said Rachel Whitmer, lead study author and a scientist at the research division of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
SHIRLEY S. WANG writes: