Obesity and drinking may increase dementia risk

A study has found that being obese, drinking too much alcohol and smoking, can all cause different parts of the brain to shrink, as can having diabetes, which may result in dementia later on in life.
Each of these factors, which can increase the risk of heart disease, are linked to effects which could predict Alzheimers disease, or other types of dementia. At the moment, there is no cure for dementia, so prevention is highly important.
There are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia, with a diagnosis made every three minutes on average.
The scientists from America conducted research which indicates that not smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight, will help reduce your risk of developing dementia. 1,629 Americans’ brains were scanned, half under 50 years, half over 50 years, and information about their lifestyles was recorded.
The participants were then scanned seven years later, and it was found that those who followed an unhealthy lifestyle were more likely to have smaller regions of the brain than those who followed a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Dr Kevin King, study author, said: “We currently do not have effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, so the focus is on prevention.”
“What’s good for your heart is good for your head, and so keeping weight in check, eating healthily, getting enough exercise and stopping smoking can help lower your risk of dementia,” said Hilary Evans of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
A healthy diet consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst reducing your consumption of sugar and processed food. Regular exercise is also highly important, and it is recommended to limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking.

Related Articles