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Photo of Dr. Haley and MRI images
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If you needed another reason to watch your weight, this is it.

Step off the scale and let’s have a talk. You’re 30 pounds overweight and at risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, certain types of cancer and coronary heart disease.

But here’s another risk from being overweight that you may not know about: dementia. In a recent study of people ages 40 to 60, University of Texas at Austin Psychology Professor Andreana Haley has found a link between excess weight and cognitive decline — specifically the part of the brain that controls planning and memory. It’s an alarming discovery given Americans’ struggle to stay fit both physically and mentally.

Haley isn’t just delivering discouraging news, however. She and her team are working with other researchers at the university to determine whether diet and exercise can prevent dementia or slow down the neurodegenerative process.

Haley’s research may be the wake-up call our country needs to adopt a healthier lifestyle.


Related links:

http://www.utexas.edu/features/2011/05/02/dementia_obesity

http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/HaleyLAB/index.html

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