Dementia: Obesity and Fitness Influence Risk of Cognitive Decline – Verve Times

A study who followed a group of more than 1,200 people from childhood to adulthood, proved that those who did better on physical tests when they were younger showed “better cognition later in life.” Academics from Peninsula Health and Monash University in Australia have concluded that staying active in childhood “may protect against later dementia”. To conduct the research, in 1985, the participants – aged between seven and 15 – were assessed on their physical condition.

This assessment was based on cardiorespiratory power, muscular power and muscular endurance, as well as their corpulence and morphology.

They were then followed between 2017 and 2019 – aged 39 to 50 – when their cognitive function was assessed using a series of computerized tests.

These participants were followed between 2017 and 2019 (39-50 years, average age 44 years) regarding their cognitive function using a series of computerized tests.

The research, which was published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport this month, showed that children with the best levels of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, as well as a lower average waist-to-hip ratio, achieved better results in treatment tests. speed and attention, and overall cognitive function.

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He looked specifically at cognitive performance in midlife because a decline, which could signal the likelihood of dementia later, can begin in middle age.

One of the study’s leaders, Associate Professor Michele Callisaya, told Science Daily: “It is important to develop strategies that improve low fitness and decrease childhood obesity levels, as this may help improve cognitive performance in midlife.

“Importantly, the study also indicates that protective strategies against future cognitive decline may need to begin in early childhood, so that the brain can develop sufficient reserve against the development of conditions such as dementia in the older life.”

It was also noted that the results were not influenced by academic ability and socioeconomic status in childhood, nor by smoking and alcohol consumption in midlife.


According to NHS Digital, 22.6% of children aged four and five in the UK were overweight or obese in the 2018 school year.

This figure rises to 34.3% among 10 to 11 year olds.

It also recognizes that childhood obesity rates are highest in the most disadvantaged 10% of the population, more than double that of the least disadvantaged 10%.

While a 2019 Sport England survey showed just 45 per cent of children met the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended hour or more of physical activity per day.

Some early signs indicate that you may be at risk for dementia.

These include:

  • memory loss
  • difficulty concentrating
  • having trouble performing familiar everyday tasks, such as getting confused with the right change when shopping
  • have trouble following a conversation or finding the right word
  • be confused about time and place
  • mood swings

The NHS recommends speaking to your GP if you are concerned about any of these symptoms.

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