Is belly fat making you demented?


People complain that being out of shape is driving them crazy, and a new study shows that it might be making them demented too.

A study published in Neurology found that adults who carry excess belly fat in middle age -- even when they are considered to be of normal weight overall -- are more likely to suffer from dementia in later years. Researchers examined the belly size of 6,583 people between 1964 and 1973 and then looked into whether they were suffering from dementia an average of more than 35 years later.

One of the doctors who worked on the study told (subscription required) the Wall Street Journal that "It's really a red flag for all of us boomers. Waist size may not be reflective of just your heart health, but your brain function decades later."

So there you go: another possible reason to stay (or get) in shape. Needless to say, the costs of later-life care rise substantially when suffering from dementia. In addition, if your mental faculties aren't there, managing your money becomes difficult, and you become dependent on the counsel and integrity of a financial adviser -- never a good position to be in. You'll also tend to be more susceptible to schemes and charlatans.