Overeating linked to memory loss

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th February 2012

A new study by scientists at the Mayo Clinic, in Arizona, US, suggests that eating too much may double the risk for memory loss in people age 70 and older.

The study involved 1,233 people in Olmsted County, Minnesota, aged between 70 and 89 and free of dementia. Of those, 163 had Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Participants reported the amount of calories they ate or drank in a food questionnaire and were divided into three equal groups based on their daily caloric consumption. One-third consumed 600 to 1,526 calories per day, one-third 1,526 to 2,143 calories and one-third 2,143 to 6,000 calories per day.

The study’s author, Dr Yonas E. Geda, a neurologist and psychiatrist with Mayo Clinic  said, “We noted that 2,143 calories per day may double the risk of memory loss.

“We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of mild cognitive impairment,” he added.

While the relationship between cardiovascular problems and overeating are well known, the study further documents the similarities of cardiovascular risks and neurological risks such as mild cognitive impairment, Dr. Geda said.

“MCI is the stage between normal memory loss that comes with aging and early Alzheimer’s disease. The odds of having MCI more than doubled for people in the highest calorie-consuming group compared with people in the lowest calorie-consuming group.”