Azara Blog: Obese people allegedly more susceptible to dementia

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Date published: 2007/06/29

The BBC says:

Rising rates of obesity will lead to dramatic increases in the number of people with Alzheimer's disease, experts have predicted.

In 50 years time, up to 2.5m people in the UK could have dementia unless steps are taken to stem the obesity epidemic, the Alzheimer's Society warned.

Better diet, more exercise and lower blood pressure would all help to reduce people's risk of the condition.

Around 700,000 people currently suffer from dementia in the UK.

The biggest risk factor for all types of dementia, of which Alzheimer's disease is the most common, is age.

Because people are living longer, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 1m in 20 years time and 1.5 million in 50 years time.

But experts are also starting to realise that lifestyle factors also have a big impact on a person's risk.

Obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol all increase the risk of dementia because they can lead to damage of the blood vessels in the brain, which in turn leads to the death of brain cells.

Professor Clive Ballard director of research at the Alzheimer's Society said: "Obesity is a huge risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

"People who are obese at 60 are twice as likely to develop dementia by the time they are 75.

"If we're not careful, it might be 2m or 2.5m people who have dementia in 50 years. This is a real opportunity to reduce the numbers."

Seemingly just part of the continual demonisation of obese people by the chattering classes. Now presumably if you are obese you don't generally live as long. Yet the article claims that "the biggest risk factor for all types of dementia ... is age". Also, we all have to die of something eventually. If obese people are more likely to die of one thing, then they must be less likely to die of something else. Yet you never see scare stories about how "non-obese people more likely to die of X". Which goes to show, this is more about the victimisation of obese people than anything else. Or perhaps the chattering classes believe that it is acceptable to die of some things but not of others.

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