Big Belly Linked to Alzheimer's Risk
The latest link to Alzheimer's risk is a big one: Your belly. Researchers reporting in the journal Neurology found that people who carry weight in their gut (a condition as "abdominal adiposity") have double to triple the risk of dementia later in life compared to people of normal weight and belly girth.
Three things you need to know:
1. We've previously reported that a healthy diet is linked to lower Alzheimer's risk. So is regular exercise and lower dementia risk. This lastest research suggests that (so nice when this happens!) you put one and one together and you get two. Poor diet + little exercise = big belly = higher Alzheimer's risk.
2. The link between belly fat and Alzheimer's risk was consistent regardless of overweightness generally. Which is to say: While being overweight and obese raise risk of dementia, carrying that weight in your belly is a potent multiplier of risk. The Washington Post has a great graphic illustrating the various links between weight, belly fat, and dementia risk.
3. We know what you're thinking: Do crunches to fight Alzheimer's! Nope. We've said it before and we'll say it again: You can't reduce the amount of fat in a particular location by building the muscle underneath. "Spot reduction" just doesn't work. If you carry your weight in your gut, the only way to reduce risk associated with it is to lose weight everywhere. Sorry.
Our partner, the Alzheimer's Association, has an excellent rundown on Alzheimer's risk factors