Keeping a low Body Mass Index, or BMI, may not be so good for your mind, as a study suggest people with Alzheimer’s disease are more likely to have a lower BMI.The study published online in the journal Neurology found that older adults in the earliest stages of the degenerative mind disease are more likely to have a lower BMI.
BMI indicates body fatness in a person based on their height and weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a normal BMI as 18.5 to 24.9. An underweight person has a BMI below 18.5; overweight spans from 25 to 29.9 and obese is 30 and over.
Dr. Jeffrey Burns, the lead author of the study and director of the Alzheimer and Memory Program at University of Kansas Medical Center said he was unable to find evidence that having a low BMI puts people at a higher risk for cognitive impairment, or conversely that cognitive impairment causes a lower BMI, but he told ABC News, this is beyond a persons just forgetting to eat.
“We think of alzheimer’s as classically a brain disease, but now there is evidence that there are measurable changes going on in the body,” he said.
Experts at the National Institute of Health estimate as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease.