A new study led by researchers at the Scottsdale-based Mayo Clinic in Arizona supports the idea that what's good for your heart is good for your brain.
The study, released last month, suggests that eating too much may double the risk for memory loss in people age 70 and older.
The research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th annual meeting in New Orleans April 21 to April 28.
"We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means: the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of mild cognitive impairment," said study author Dr. Yonas E. Geda, a neurologist and psychiatrist with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
He noted that 2,143 calories per day may double the risk of memory loss.
While the relationship between cardiovascular problems and overeating are well known, the study further documents the similarities of cardiovascular risks and neurological risks such as mild cognitive impairment, Geda said.
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The study involved 1,233 people in Olmsted County, Minn., ages 70 to 89 and free of dementia.
"Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age," Geda said.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Robert H. and Clarice Smith and Abigail van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Program.
To see a video of Geda explaining the study, go to youtube.com/watch?v=gF47eyjW2Pk