Overeating doubles memory risk
Overeating can double the risk of memory problems in old age, new research has found.
Studies by scientists in the United States have shown that a high calorific intake can substantially increase the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a syndrome characterised by mild memory loss which can precede dementia.
The findings were released ahead of the American Academy of Neurology's 64th annual meeting in New Orleans in April, where the authors will present the developments.
Dr Marie Janson of Alzheimer's Research UK said: "Although these findings are yet to be published, they touch on an interesting subject.
"The initial report suggests older people who consume a high number of calories may be at greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment.
"It would be interesting to see how many of these people go on to develop dementia in the future, to see if there is link to Alzheimer's disease.
"We know that age is one of the greatest risk factors for dementia, but adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, is beneficial in protecting against dementia along with a number of other chronic diseases.
"With 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia, and this number expected to rise dramatically with the ageing population, there is a desperate need to understand more about the risk factors involved. To make real progress, we must invest in research."