Belly fat, apart from being associated with life-threatening health risks; it has been shown by studies to be associated with reduced cognitive function in older adults.
In different elaborate research, the biggest of its type, researchers conclude that increased belly fat is linked with a reduction in the performance of an Individual- Especially in older adults.
According to WHO, In estimation, about 47 million people are suffering from dementia globally.
This number is expected to rise to 75 million by 2030. This stats shows that it is relatively hard to prevent or control its prevalence.
Understanding the risk factors associated with dementia, cognitive dysfunction with other cognitive impairments generally is important;
It educates us more on potential interventions and preventive measures to help reduce the risk of its development as we age.
Alzheimer’s, major health risk of dementia is of major concern. There is an increased prevalence as the average age of the population increases.
In addition, researchers also conclude that Obesity has a linear correlation with cognitive dysfunction.
This, in Addition to other big studies, allowed researchers to finally come to the conclusion that obesity at mid-age is a predictor of cognitive ageing and other cognitive dysfunction in older adulthood.
This article focuses on the clinical and statistical evidence that shows that that Obesity is associated with cognitive dysfunction or impairment and an increased risk of dementia.
Obesity is classified or measured according to the BMI(body mass Index). It is necessary to point out that the BMI is not a basis for body fat measurement, it only considers the individual’s height and body size.
Body-builders, for example, have a significantly large BMI but lesser body fat. According to the U.S department of health and human services, Men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches and women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches may have an increased risk for an obese related disease.
It is worth noting that there are two types of belly fat;
Though one has fatal health risks, The other, on the other hand, has been shown recently to be beneficial to an extent.
• Subcutaneous fat: the fat deposit just below your skin
• Visceral fats: The fat surrounding your Organs – the more dangerous fats
Belly fat and Cognitive ability in Older adults.
Earlier researches and studies have demonstrated that adults who are overweight do not perform relatively well when presented with memory and visuospatial tasks. However, whether this relationship continues into older age is not well understood.
Researchers further went into work to further ascertain this relationship. Recently, is one carried out by a team from St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, both in Northern Ireland, joined up with scientists from the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health at Ulster University, also in Ireland.
A research result data from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture (TUDA) ageing cohort study was used as the basis of their findings.
Community-dwelling population, whose exact number of 5186 and age 60 and above are investigated, all the participants were allowed to take part in some specific cognition tests including Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and other neuropsychological assessment.
The analysis of their research result is as follow :
• Participants with a higher waist-to-hip ratio – a measure of obesity, had reduced cognitive performance.
• Participants with higher BMI– which is not a determinant of how an individual’s obesity, did not show the same trend observed. In fact, higher BMI protected cognitive performance.
• central adiposity– The major fat deposit around the human delicate organs, was a stronger predictor of poor cognitive performance than BMI.
Belly fat and Cognitive ability in younger adults
Research has previously shown that individuals who are obese at mid-age have a higher chance of having cognitive dysfunction in older adulthood.
Researchers went further to understand how young adults fare with cognitive performance, in relation obesity, with hormones study included.
For this research study, 53 non-diabetic men with abdominal obesity were observed. detailed measurement shows that the mean BMI of the participants is 37.3 kg/m2 and ages 22–45 years with normal intelligence.
As expected, the result was interesting;
Adiposity and insulin resistance was associated with a worse function in visual domains, domains with a relative male advantage.
Unexpectedly, Hormonal level in males has no linear correlation with cognitive performance.
It Is worth noting that in men, obesity is associated with decreased levels of testosterone; the primary sex hormone in.
Whereas in the female, hormone; estrogen production is increased with increased body weight.
How does your abdominal fat affect cognitive performance
Scientists, on basis of research and studies, believe that the effect of belly fat on cognitive performance is signal based. What does this mean;
Fat cells produce signals that cause the body system to secrete a chemical known as c-creative proteins(hsCRP); an increased level of the chemical has been associated with reduced cognitive performance.
It is also worth to understand the statics Obtained from the research.
1331 participants supplied with different amounts of the concerned protein were observed and the overall effect on cognition based impairments;
Memory impairment, Language impairment, Executive impairment, Visuospatial impairment, was recorded.
The result is as shown below :
In addition, haemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) is another molecule that needs clarifications.
Like you guessed, researchers have found it to be associated with reduced cognitive performance.
HbA1C is a form of haemoglobin that is used to assess average blood glucose concentrations in people with diabetes.
Reduced cognitive abilit, has previously been measured in people with diabetes. To buttress this fact, when the researchers controlled for levels of HbA1C in their analysis, the significant effect of belly fat on cognition disappeared.
What can be done to avert this health risk ?
Having Indicated the health effect of belly fat on cognitive performance, It is worth knowing how to completely get rid of it.
One effective way is by taking tea that has been proven overtime to work effectively.
Other life-threatening health complications of obesity include diabetes, cancer, disruptive breathing, gallstones, varicose veins, skin marks, cellulitis and psychological and social problems.
There is no certain claim that you might run into any of these health complications.
It varies from person to person;
this further emphasizes the need to give proper attention to your belly fat especially those surrounding your internal organs.