Obesity is a slow and long-term killer. It is one of the most hazardous factors affecting our body. For decades, we have seen and heard of the effects of obesity on individuals of different age groups. The symptoms of obesity can be directly and visibly observed; and therefore it takes a toll on self-confidence, as well as the psychological health of individuals. But did you know that obesity also has major adverse effects on the mental skills of senior citizens?
Obesity has been shown to cause reduced mental capability in senior citizens. Obesity slowly diminishes the cognitive abilities and memory of an individual. Although the symptoms are not very prominent in the brain and associated structures, various studies have revealed that obesity does indeed impact the mental skills of the elderly. One of the latest studies has shown that individuals who are excessively obese, perform poorly on cognitive tests than their healthy counterparts. But once they underwent weight loss surgeries and lost a substantial amount of weight, they were able to perform much better on the same cognitive tests.
One of the significant ways in which obesity affects memory and cognitive skills in seniors is that it leads to changes in the brain of the senior citizens who are obese. A visceral adiposity is a form of obesity which is associated with the brain, and its performance, i.e., cognitive performance. Obesity-related major diseases like diabetes mellitus, as well as cardiovascular diseases, cause deterioration of mental skills in elderly individuals. If a senior citizen has a high-fat diet, then it increases the oxidative stress in the brain, along with causing inflammatory swelling.
With age, energy spending is reduced, and food intake is increased. Leptin, which is a satiety hormone, is increased in the event of obesity. At normal levels, it helps to control excessive eating and maintains weight. But as an individual’s weight increases, the leptin levels also increase in the body. Seniors with higher leptin levels usually have fewer chances of suffering from cognitive disorders like dementia. However, obese individuals have an increased risk of attracting different types of brain disorders in later stages of life.
As mentioned earlier, there are several major disorders which have obesity as one of the important causes for their occurrence. These diseases lead to various changes in the brain of the individuals, and gradually affect the normal functioning of cognitive skills.
So, as you would have gathered, in a minute yet significant ways, obesity leads to several cognitive disorders, which therefore results in the deterioration of mental abilities in elderly individuals with excessive weight. Therefore, senior citizens need to take proper care of their health; in terms of exercising daily and having a healthy diet, in order to ensure that they have a healthy body and a healthy mind.