Belly fat is strongly correlated with many different health risks. Patients may often hear warnings that belly fat, obesity, or merely being overweight can contribute to risks such as hypertension, diabetes, colon cancer, and other types of cancer. However, a new study reveals scientists have also found a link between obesity (particularly belly fat) and cognitive decline in older adults. Read on to hear about the results of the study, and how you can fight back against belly fat.

Results of the Study

In a relatively new (July 2018) study, researchers took data from a sample size of over 5,000 older adults. This study was conducted in Ireland, and all of the participants were over 60 years of age. Overall, researchers found a strong correlation between cognitive decline and those who were overweight. Cognitive decline refers to a laundry list of impairments adults may suffer from as they age. For example, in this study, obese participants did more poorly than their healthier peers in terms of memory, test taking, and visuospatial tests. These kinds of tests measure your reaction time, problem-solving, how you see things (spatial intelligence), and other cognitive tasks. This test-taking was measured against obesity and BMI, particularly belly fat, which is the waist-to-hip ratio.

This is one of the largest studies of its kind to measure cognitive ability and weight, and the results are surely alarming. Cognitive decline has strong ties to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers expect that by 2040, 8.1 million people will suffer from dementia on a global level.

Preventing Obesity

If you’re concerned about gaining weight as you age, there are a few key things you can do to prevent obesity, especially belly fat. Just as with preventing obesity in children, limiting your screen time is imperative. For adults, “screen time” often refers to time spent in front of the television and computer. This time should be limited to no more than two hours per day. Also, eating a healthful diet full of fruits, vegetables, and fiber is a mainstay. Avoid red and processed meats as much as possible, and get protein from poultry and fish. Remaining active is also a must. Even if it’s only a short, brisk walk, try to do something to engage in physical activity daily.

Fighting Belly Fat

If you’re an older adult who is already suffering from obesity, you may have already tried a few diets and options, feeling frustrated by the lack of results. GI Associates offers a special diet just for combating belly fat, known as Ideal Protein. Following a diet under the care and supervision of qualified physicians often leads to much better, longer-lasting results for the patient. Created by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, this diet is a four-phase program that helps you eradicate belly fat and overall fat, building lean muscle.

This diet, which was created for both men and women, helps women lose an average of 2 to 3 lbs. per week, while men see results of 3 to 5 lbs. per week. This program offers high-protein entrees, snacks, desserts, and drinks, letting you cut down on carbs naturally without the feeling of giving up foods you really like. In addition to the meal plan and diet advice, you also have a trained fitness and diet coach assigned just to you, to help educate and motivate you throughout your weight-loss journey. An exceptional way to healthily lose weight, many patients have lost upwards of 100 lbs. on Ideal Protein. For more information on how to prevent belly fat, or to learn more about how Ideal Protein can help you, make an appointment today at GI Associates. We’re committed to helping you in every stage of your GI health and wellness.

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