Larger waistlines = high dementia risk

March 26, 2008 3:47:50 PM PDT
We know having a lot of belly fat puts your physical health at risk. Now a new study shows it may also put your mental health at risk.

Philadelphia police captain Debra Frazier works out six days a week, sweating it out on the cardio machines.

And pumping iron with a trainer at the aquatic and fitness center.

Frazier tells Action News, "Because I want to live a long time and I want to enjoy it and this is the easiest way for me to do it."

Frazier says if she didn't work out,,, her waistline would expand.

We already know belly fat puts people at a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. Now a new study shows people with larger stomachs in their 40's may also be more than 3-times more likely to have dementia when they reach their 70's.

ABC News Medical Contributor Dr. Marie Savard says, "For the first time we're learning that your waist size- the inches around your waist may be more important in developing Alzheimer's or dementia as we get older than many other factors"

But this is not all bad news because this study shows we may be able to reduce our risk for dementia by reducing our waistline.

Dr. Savard says walking 30 minutes a day is the best way to whittle your waist, and keep both your body and mind on the right track.

Frazier says she'll do it, "(I want to be mentally aware and in the game to the very end."