You're Not Crazy To Eat At McDonald's,
BUT YOU WILL BE
Oh, this is just fucking great.
Middle-aged people with excess visceral fat - usually apparent in the thick waist or pot belly of an apple-shaped body - are nearly three times more likely to suffer from dementia in their 70s and 80s than people with little to no belly fat, according to a study of Kaiser Permanente patients.Kinda outta left field, innit? That is, if left field were in a stadium on a small moon orbiting a dwarf star in Andromeda. And here ALL THIS TIME my poor mother's been shouldering our family's Alzheimer's worry burden, shouting, "It's STARTING!" anytime she can't find her car keys. I can already hear the jokes come Sunday at the Dugout. "You sure you want that beer, Joe? You have been acting kinda weird lately."
Researchers have long connected obesity, diabetes and heart disease to dementia. The new study - published today in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology - suggests that the effect of fat on the body is more complicated than just a number on a scale.
"People need to think not just about weight, but where they carry their weight," said Rachel Whitmer, a research scientist at Kaiser's Division of Research in Oakland and lead author of the study. "They need to know if they're apples or pears."
People with pear-shaped bodies tend to carry most of their weight below the waist, in the hips, buttocks and thighs. People with apple-shaped bodies are at greater risk of having too much visceral fat surrounding internal organs deep in the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat is more common in people who are overweight, but even a very lean person with a small pot belly could have hidden visceral fat.