Overeating may double odds of memory loss in elderly

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has recently performed a study that suggests overeating may double the risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI)—also referred to as memory loss—for people over the age of 70. The Mayo Clinic defines mild cognitive impairment as the intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia. Some people with MCI may never develop later signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but some may get worse.

Researchers used over 1,200 participants between the ages of 70–89 that were dementia-free and gave them memory tests. Participants were broken up into three groups based on their caloric intake each day. The groups consisted of participants that consumed 600–1,500 calories per day, 1,500–2,100 per day, and 2,100–6,000 calories per day. Researchers discovered 163 participants had signs of memory loss, and participants that consumed more than 2,100 calories a day had double the risk of memory loss in the future. Findings have linked a high calorie intake with mild cognitive impairment, but more research must be done. Until then, researchers suggest cutting calories and eating healthier foods may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss in the aging process.