If Your Scales Could Speak, What Would They Tell You About Alzheimer’s?

The next time you look at those numbers on your scale, please take a moment to consider the many possible risks for developing Alzheimer’s they represent.

A report in Vascular Health and Risk Management shows a two-fold increase of developing Alzheimer’s in late life if you are obese in midlife. Researchers also studied obesity in correlation with findings on image studies of the brain. An increase in the amount of fat tissue of the body was found to correlate with three factors that are found in patients with Alzheimer’s. First, they found a reduced volume in several areas of the brain. Second, there was an increase of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain. And last, those patients also had a decline in their scores on the mental testing. Three strikes and you’re out.

You will see some numbers reported in the journal Obesity that explain that what you weigh in mid-life correlates with whether you have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s in later life. This report investigated sixteen medical studies that evaluated the relationship of BMI with Alzheimer’s. BMI, body mass index, is the measurement frequently used in medical studies concerning one’s weight. It correlates your weight with your height. Normal is considered up to 25, overweight is 25 to 30 and obese is over 30. Those numbers are not exact in determining whether you are of normal weight, overweight, or obese, but places you into one of those three categories related to weight. Just because you are in the normal column doesn’t necessarily mean you are at your ideal weight. I remind you that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese but only 12 percent of Americans are at their ideal weight. The result of this study showed that women who were obese in midlife, had a 3.08 times increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s and a 2.45 times increased risk for men. Their take away thought was, having a normal BMI in midlife equates with the lowest risk of dementia, while an obese BMI in midlife confronts the greatest risk.

Reducing your weight relies on exercising and your eating habits. A personal exercise program is a must. The odds of losing weight and sustaining that loss are almost nil unless you have an exercise program. It can consist of anything from brisk walking, to a fast jog or cycling, swimming or anything else that sustains an elevated heart rate for at least thirty minutes a day, five to six days a week. Think of doing your exercise similar to taking medicine. I call it “exercise medicine”. It may not taste that good when you take it but you feel so much better after it’s done.

Your diet needs to concentrate on the foods you eat rather than calories. Simply eat the foods that contain the fewest calories that also give you that full feeling. Such foods consist of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Cut out the bread. Develop meals centered around these foods and your weight will begin falling off. I have had calls from many who relay that such eating habits have led to 30 to 90 pound weight losses.

Read the details in Defeating Dementia and begin listening to what your scales are yelling at you.