Overweight teens at risk for memory loss and dementia by middle age

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A new study has found that being overweight during your teenage years can put you at risk for memory loss and dementia by your mid-40s.

A new study has found that overweight teens, including those who've lost weight during their 20s and 30s, are at high risk for memory loss and dementia by the time they're middle-aged.

They conducted the study for a span of 33 years

The researchers analysed 507 people who were tracked for 33 years, starting when they were 17. The participants then completed cognitive assessment tests to gauge their cognitive skills.

According to senior author Prof. Jeremy Kark, "In this population-based study of a Jerusalem cohort, followed longitudinally from adolescence for over 33 years, we found that higher BMI in late adolescence and the long-term cumulative burden of BMI predicted poorer cognitive function later in life. Importantly, this study shows that an impact of obesity on cognitive function in midlife may already begin in adolescence, independently of changes in BMI over the adult life course."

Lead author Irit Cohen-Manheim adds,"Our results also show that taller stature was associated with a better global cognitive function, independent of childhood and adult socioeconomic position, and that height increase in late adolescence, reflecting late growth, conferred a protective effect, but among women only."

Keeping healthy is important for all ages

The study brings to light the importance of being healthy, even at younger ages. This is why parents who wish for their children to not have cognitive problems during middle age should make sure that their kids eat a healthy diet, and are physically active in order to avoid these problems later on in life.

Go to the next page to learn more about losing weight for teens!

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