Obesity and executive dysfunction

9 Apr

I recently came across this 2007 paper titled: “Elevated body mass index is associated with executive dysfunction in otherwise healthy adults.” Here is the abstract:

“There is growing evidence that obesity is linked to adverse neurocognitive outcome, including reduced cognitive functioning and Alzheimer disease. However, no study to date has determined whether the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cognitive performance varies as a function of age. We examined attention and executive function in a cross-section of 408 healthy persons across the adult life span (20-82 years). Bivariate correlation showed that BMI was inversely related to performance on all cognitive tests. After controlling for possible confounding factors, overweight and obese adults (BMI > 25) exhibited poorer executive function test performance than normal weight adults (BMI, 18.5-24.9). No differences emerged in attention test performance, and there was no evidence of a BMI × age interaction for either cognitive domain. These results provide further evidence for the relationship between elevated BMI and reduced cognitive performance and suggest that this relationship does not vary with age. Further research is needed to identify the etiology of these deficits and whether they resolve after weight loss.”

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2 Responses to “Obesity and executive dysfunction”

  1. ladyatheist April 9, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

    There is also possible evidence that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) affect the prefrontal cortex, which in turn affects one’s ability to resist temptation in addictions (impulse control), including food addiction.


    • jecgenovese April 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you for your comments and the links!

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