Forgot Your Keys? Blame Your Stomach
By Ruth Folger Weiss
We attempt to tackle each day in optimistic and measured tones, weighing the risk ratios and costs benefits of a myriad of choices. We’ve finally gotten the Food Pyramid straight, can almost discern the differences between wild and not-so-wild salmon, know where to get our Omega 3s, and recognize that pomegranate juice isn’t just relegated to The Jewish New Year – and that brain exercises coupled with the physical version may ward off the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease.
So I was unprepared for the latest bit of scientific harassment that brazenly confronted me this morning:
“Study Shows Getting a Big Belly in Midlife Ups Risk of Dementia Later in Life”
Having a fat belly at midlife, which is already associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart problems, and stroke, also increases the risk of getting dementia in your later years, according to a new study.
“This is the first time research has linked central obesity in midlife with dementia later in life,” says Rachel Whitmer, PhD, research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., who led the study. “If you are overweight and carry it in your belly, you are at greater risk of health problems than someone overweight who doesn’t carry it in their belly.
“Where you carry your weight is an important risk factor,” she tells WebMD. “If you are overweight and carry it in your belly, you are at greater risk [of health problems] than someone overweight who doesn’t carry it in their belly.”
Our efforts, heretofore, mainly relegated to using glass dishes instead of aluminum pans, and trying our hand at learning a foreign language after completing a Sudoku grid, must be compounded by a serious multi-pronged effort at the gym. Hitting the gym and staying fit is a healthy “must”- and working at it is no longer a matter of vanity. Now the mid-life crisis, is a mid-body attack. There it is again: middle age leaves no room for slack.