It is widely known that being overweight can lead to a long list of physical maladies. However, Reuters reports that researchers have found a link in older women between gaining weight and decreased mental function.
Dr Diana Kerwin and a team of scientists at Northwestern University discovered that skills such as memory and reasoning became less sharp as weight increases.
The test evaluated 8,745 women between the ages of 65 and 79 on their temporal and spatial oriental skills.
The findings revealed that even women who had normal blood pressure and cholesterol still suffered.
"What we found is that actually obesity in and of itself is an independent risk factor for declining cognitive performance," Kerwin told the news source.
Maintaining an active lifestyle by exercising regularly can be one way to avoid gaining weight as one gets older. According to USA Today, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that one-third of the adult population is considered obese. Along with suffering mental drawbacks, obesity can cause greater wear on joints in the elderly and also raise one's risk for type 2 diabetes.