Background: The association between obesity and executive functions (EFs) is highly controversial. It has been suggested that waist circumference (WC), compared to body mass index (BMI), is a better indicator of fat mass and EFs in obesity. Moreover, according to the viewpoint that the brain's functional architecture meets the need for interactive behavior, we hypothesize that the relationship between EFs and body weight might be mediated by the motor performance. Methods: General executive functioning (frontal assessment battery-15), additional cognitive subdomains (trail making test and digit span backward), and motor performance (finger tapping task) were assessed in a sample that included 330 volunteers (192 females, M age = 45.98 years, SD = 17.70, range = 18-86 years). Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that the FAB15 score and FTT negatively predicted WC but not BMI. A subsequent mediation analysis highlighted that the indirect effect of FAB15 on WC through finger tapping was statistically significant. Conclusions: Our results suggest that WC, as compared to BMI, is a more effective measure for studying the association between EFs and body weight. Still, we found that the motor domain partially mediates the dynamics of such a relationship.

The Neglected Factor in the Relationship between Executive Functioning and Obesity: The Role of Motor Control

Messina A.;Verde G.;Messina G.;Monda V.;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Background: The association between obesity and executive functions (EFs) is highly controversial. It has been suggested that waist circumference (WC), compared to body mass index (BMI), is a better indicator of fat mass and EFs in obesity. Moreover, according to the viewpoint that the brain's functional architecture meets the need for interactive behavior, we hypothesize that the relationship between EFs and body weight might be mediated by the motor performance. Methods: General executive functioning (frontal assessment battery-15), additional cognitive subdomains (trail making test and digit span backward), and motor performance (finger tapping task) were assessed in a sample that included 330 volunteers (192 females, M age = 45.98 years, SD = 17.70, range = 18-86 years). Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that the FAB15 score and FTT negatively predicted WC but not BMI. A subsequent mediation analysis highlighted that the indirect effect of FAB15 on WC through finger tapping was statistically significant. Conclusions: Our results suggest that WC, as compared to BMI, is a more effective measure for studying the association between EFs and body weight. Still, we found that the motor domain partially mediates the dynamics of such a relationship.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11369/433073
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