The population of those who are overweight and obese is steadily rising as is the population of elderly people with dementia. Currently over 30% of the world’s population—2.1 billion people—are overweight or obese. Excessive weight is harmful to your body and is the root of many serious issues like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, and the development of cancer. It is for these reasons that health professionals encourage overweight patients to manage their weight and stay healthy. 

It is in your best interest to take care of your overall health by taking care of your weight. This is even more important in light of a recent study that found a link between excessive belly fat and cognitive impairment.

The Research


In this study, information about 5,000 men and women over the age of 60 was provided from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture (TUDA). The waist to hip ratio was used to determine a correlation between cognitive function. The research indicated that those with a higher waist to hip ratio had a significant cognitive impairment. This is crucial information because over half of the elderly population in Ireland is centrally obese. This term is given to anyone who carries excessive fat around their stomach and abdomen. 

In Ireland, of the adults above 50 years of age, only 16% of men and 26% of women are reported to have a normal body mass index (BMI).  A healthy BMI is traditionally understood to help protect cognitive function, but the measurement cannot accurately differentiate between fat and muscle. Because fat cells secrete molecules that increase inflammation, the fat in our bodies may be the link to reduced cognitive function. This is why the hip to ratio information was more impactful for the study than the BMI of each participant.

Cognitive Impairment


When intellectual abilities like memory, reasoning, and concentration are impaired, cognitive dysfunction is diagnosed. When cognitive dysfunction progresses, causing you to be unable to function in society, disorders such as dementia begin to take over. Dementia is a devastating disease and is predicted to affect 81.1 million people by 2040. 

The study in Ireland found that memory and visuospatial performance was unsatisfactory in men and women with excessive belly fat. The researchers concluded that managing a healthy weight may be crucial to protecting your mind from dementia and cognitive dysfunction.

Is ORBERA® Right for You?


A non-surgical procedure, ORBERA® Managed Weight Loss System, may be the next step to helping you weight experience and maintain weight loss. During the procedure, the ORBERA® balloon is placed in your stomach and inflated. This works as a training tool for portion control and healthy eating habits. With this program, you are not on your own. You will be coached by a team of professionals who will give you the support and advice you need to lose the weight and keep it off. 

While procedures like this have been successfully used for over 20 years, Carolina Digestive Health Associates is the first GI practice in the Charlotte area to offer this effective weight loss plan. If you have questions about ORBERA® or your overall health, make an appointment at Carolina Digestive Health Associates today. Our team is dedicated to helping you reach your weight loss goals so that you can have a healthy body and mind.