obesityDiabetes, the second leading cause of death in the country, affects more than 42 percent of American adults in the United States — and the chronic disease is on the rise. There are a number of side effects of having a dangerously inflated BMI including organ system damage leading to various problems such as diabetes, joint disease, gastroesophageal reflux and being more prone to diseases and viruses such as COVID-19. now one recent research has identified another important side effect of obesity. Read on to find out what it is and science-backed steps you can take to prevent obesity. And to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss this one Certain Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.
Scientists from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin have found that overweight or obesity can significantly reduce blood current to the brain, a term called “cerebral hypoperfusion,” which is considered an early mechanism in vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers examined three separate measures of obesity in adults over 50: body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference, and physical activity. Using MRI scans, they measured blood flow in the brain and identified the relationship between obesity and increased blood flow. They note that blood flow in the brain usually decreases with age. However, the negative influence of obesity on brain blood flow is greater than that of age.
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“Consistent, healthy blood flow to the brain is critical, as it ensures the brain gets enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly. If blood flow in the brain is disrupted, it can lead to serious health problems as we age , such as increasing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Silvin Knight, Research Fellow at TILDA and lead author, in a press release.
“We know that obesity can predispose a person to age-related conditions, illness and disease, and even reduce life expectancy to 6 years in men and 7 years in women, after the age of forty. Our study reveals clear associations between obesity and reduced Blood Flow to the Brain in an Older Population The research also demonstrates the importance of being physically active for older individuals who are overweight or obese, as it may help protect against reduced brain blood flow and the poor health outcomes that can result from this.”
Like many, you may be carrying a few pounds more than you’d like right now, but there are some simple, science-backed steps you can take to prevent obesity. Read on to find out more.
TILDA scientists have identified one thing that can counteract the negative effects: exercise. Increased physical activity was found to improve or even eliminate the reduction in blood flow. The researchers suggest getting at least 1.5 to two hours of moderate activity during the day that promotes harder-than-normal breathing, such as cycling or brisk walking.
“One of the best ways to stop obesity is to avoid slow, insidious weight gain that can occur over a longer period of time,” says Kirsten Davidson, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research at Boston College. “We’re all vulnerable to this if we’re not vigilant. In today’s environment, it’s easy to consume 100 to 200 calories more than your body needs on a daily basis — this could be two biscuits, for example — but over a longer period of time, this leads to weight gain.”
Davidson’s Advice: Weigh yourself daily, or at least once a week. Track that information over time. “If your weight is on an upward trajectory, you need to make lifestyle changes,” she says. Davidson adds a caveat: While that strategy works well for many people, it may not work for those who have an emotional relationship with food and weight. You may need to check in with a healthcare provider.
As discussed in Better, experts have seen the frustration of many dieters stomping for hours on a treadmill with little or no effect on low-calorie diets. That’s because the body seems able to respond when deprived, so the metabolism switches back to keep things stable. The net effect: You won’t lose weight and may even gain more.
“There is some evidence that metabolism changes as part of an evolutionary adaptation to famine and the body perceiving the reduction in calories,” Manson says. “You don’t want the body to feel deprived because it’s going to make changes in the metabolism that will sabotage your efforts to control your weight.”
The Hack: Satisfy Your Body, Don’t Punish It. Eat foods “that lead to satiety, that lead to emotional well-being, and that contain the nutrition your body needs,” Manson says. Read on to find out what some of those foods are.
“A high-quality eating plan is something like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, and olive oil while being low in red meat, processed meats, and processed foods,” Manson says.
The key: Focus on nutrient-dense foods that will fill you up, not high-calorie processed foods that won’t. For example, if you’re going to snack, grab a handful of nuts instead of chips. Nuts are nutritious and rich in good fats that fill you up and don’t make you feel hungry or nauseous. “It leads to satisfaction,” Manson says. “Unlike, after you’ve had three donuts, you can feel really sick.”
Snacking on non-starchy fruits and vegetables that are low in fructose can be very satisfying while preventing the blood sugar levels and crashes that starches and sugars can cause. Manson suggests brussels sprouts or broccoli as a side dish, or as a snack, by pairing a bag of mixed vegetables with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. Lower fructose fruits include berries, apples, pears and strawberries. And to get through this pandemic as healthy as possible, don’t miss this one 35 places you are most likely to get COVID.