Recent research has reported that there is such a phenomenon as ‘healthy obesity’. Some research has demonstrated that an individual can be both overweight and metabolically healthy. For studies have reported that there are some individuals who are clinically obese yet have no other risk factors for conditions such as heard disease or diabetes, they don’t not have insulin resistance and their cholesterol levels are normal.
This latest study published in the journal Neurology investigated whether there is such a thing as healthy obesity on mental health.
It has long been known that carrying excess weight and obesity has been linked to dementia and significantly increased cognitive decline particularly in middle aged individuals. Researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) recruited 6,400 adults, with an average age of 50 years old. The Body Mass Index (BMI) of these individuals was collected, as well as metabolic risk factors such as blood pressure, insulin resistance and cholesterol levels were recorded over a 10 year research period. Each participant had their cognitive ability and memory tested at the baseline and after both five and ten years.
582 of the participants who were defined as clinically obese at the start of the study, of these, around 40 percent of them were deemed metabolically healthy.
It was reported that individuals who were obese, irrespective of whether they were metabolically healthy or unhealthy, was significantly correlated with poor cognitive function at the start of the study, additionally, it was associated with greater cognitive decline over the 10 year research period.
This research therefore shows that obesity, whether accompanied by other metabolic risk factors or not is directly associated with poor cognitive ability, cognitive decline and dementia.