Background: Recent evidence suggests that a higher body weight may be linked to cognitive impairment in different domains involving executive/frontal functioning. However, challenging results are also available. Accordingly, our study was designed to verify whether (i) poor executive functions are related to a higher body weight and (ii) executive functioning could contribute to weight loss in treatment-seeking overweight and obese patients. Methods: We examined general executive functioning, inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and psychomotor speed in a sample including 104 overweight and obese patients. Forty-eight normal-weight subjects participated in the study as controls. Results: Univariate Analysis of Variance showed that obese patients obtained lower scores than overweight and normal-weight subjects in all executive measures, except for errors in the Stroop test. However, when sociodemographic variables entered the model as covariates, no between-group difference was detected. Furthermore, an adjusted multiple linear regression model highlighted no relationship between weight loss and executive scores at baseline. Conclusions: Our results provide further evidence for the lack of association between obesity and the executive domains investigated. Conflicting findings from previous literature may likely be due to the unchecked confounding effects exerted by sociodemographic variables and inclusion/exclusion criteria.

Executive Functions in Overweight and Obese Treatment-Seeking Patients: Cross-Sectional Data and Longitudinal Perspectives

Messina G.;Polito R.;Porro C.;Scarinci A.;Monda V.;Messina A.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: Recent evidence suggests that a higher body weight may be linked to cognitive impairment in different domains involving executive/frontal functioning. However, challenging results are also available. Accordingly, our study was designed to verify whether (i) poor executive functions are related to a higher body weight and (ii) executive functioning could contribute to weight loss in treatment-seeking overweight and obese patients. Methods: We examined general executive functioning, inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and psychomotor speed in a sample including 104 overweight and obese patients. Forty-eight normal-weight subjects participated in the study as controls. Results: Univariate Analysis of Variance showed that obese patients obtained lower scores than overweight and normal-weight subjects in all executive measures, except for errors in the Stroop test. However, when sociodemographic variables entered the model as covariates, no between-group difference was detected. Furthermore, an adjusted multiple linear regression model highlighted no relationship between weight loss and executive scores at baseline. Conclusions: Our results provide further evidence for the lack of association between obesity and the executive domains investigated. Conflicting findings from previous literature may likely be due to the unchecked confounding effects exerted by sociodemographic variables and inclusion/exclusion criteria.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/427269
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