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Study: The connection between the Dad bod and Alzheimer’s disease 

(WISH Photo)

(WISH) — A new study from researchers at Rutgers University is shedding light on the possible connection between abdominal fat and Alzheimer’s disease.

Study authors explain that, for middle-aged people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, fat levels surrounding the abdominal organs — pancreas, liver, and stomach –appear to have a connection to brain volumes and cognitive function.

“In middle-aged males at high Alzheimer’s disease risk — but not females — higher pancreatic fat was associated with lower cognition and brain volumes, suggesting a potential sex-specific link between distinct abdominal fat with brain health,” said Michal Schnaider Beeri, the Krieger Klein Endowed Chair in Neurodegeneration Research at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute.

According to a news release, the study challenges the conventional use of body mass index (BMI) as the primary measure for assessing obesity-related cognitive risks. The researchers said BMI poorly represents body fat distribution and does not necessarily account for gender differences.

“Our findings indicate stronger correlations compared to the relationships between BMI and cognition, suggesting that abdominal fat depots, rather than BMI, are a risk factor for lower cognitive functioning and higher dementia risk,” Shekhtman said.