It’s no secret that being overweight or obese can have a pretty big impact on your health. Just pick up a magazine, listen to the news, or jump on the Internet, and study after study shows that an unhealthy body weight can lead to some pretty serious health conditions—like diabetes, heart disease and liver disease, just to name a few.

In the past, a lot of people died from obesity-related illnesses, and even today many people continue to die from them, but thanks to advances in medical science, more obese and overweight individuals are living longer lives. And while yes, this is a good thing, it also means that a lot more older folks will be dealing with serious health conditions—and one of those has to do with the brain.

A recent study found that people who had a higher body mass index (BMI) at midlife had lower cognitive ability (thinking, learning, memory, etc.) and faster cognitive decline than thinner people. And it wasn’t just men or women—the same results were seen in both sexes.

Ask any middle-aged to older person these days what their worst fear is, and most likely the answer will be, “Losing my mind.” Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s always time to begin a new health journey! Starting today, turn over a new leaf—for your body and your mind—and begin to take those small and important steps toward achieving a healthy body weight.