DIET&FITNESS Published February14, 2016 By Annie Dee

Obesity in Middle Age Linked to Faster Brain Function Loss

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(Photo : Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images News)

There are new reasons why exercise should be in everyone's agenda this year. According to a new study, being out of shape in middle age can lead to the faster shrinkage of brain later. 

A new US study found that people in midlife who are not fit and healthy can have smaller brains  later. Even though everyone can experience cognitive decline as they age, those who do not exercise regularly can accelerate the process. "We found that poor fitness in midlife was linked to more rapid brain aging two decades later," said the lead researcher Nicole Spartano of Boston University School of Medicine.  

Spartano added that those who already have a heart disorder or at-risk of getting heart disease should worry more. The relationship between being fit and brain aging is more emphasized among those already suffering from heart conditions, or those who are likely candidates to get heart disease. 

A cognitive expert, Scott Hayes said people should take these new findings to heart. Working as a researcher at Boston University and the Memory Disorders Research Center at VA Boston Healthcare System, he can observe that more people are engaging a in sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to a host of problems. The findings from the new study might therefore, urge them to try to meet the minimum recommended requirements for physical activity. Middle-aged adults can become more motivated to get back in shape. 

Getting into shape is not similar to losing weight excessively though. According to another study, excessive weight loss during aging can make one vulnerable to mild cognitive impairment. Rosebud Roberts of Mayo Clinic, lead researcher, said they found that increasing rate of weight loss from midlife to later life can serve as a marker for this cognitive problem. People with MCI are particularly prone to getting dementia.

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