In the last decades, it has been proposed that executive functions may be particularly vulnerable to weight-related issues. However, evidence on the matter is mixed, especially when the effects of sociodemographic variables are weighted. Thus, the current study aimed at further examining the relationship between executive functions and obesity. To this aim, we compared treatment-seeking overweight, obese, and morbidly obese patients with normal-weight control participants. We examined general executive functioning (Frontal Assessment Battery-15) and different executive subdomains (e.g., inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and psychomotor speed) in a clinical sample including 208 outpatients with different degrees of BMI (52 overweight, BMI 25-30, M age = 34.38; 76 obese, BMI 30-40, M age = 38.00; 80 morbidly obese, BMI > 40, M age = 36.20). Ninety-six normal-weight subjects served as controls. No difference on executive scores was detected when obese patients were compared with over- or normal-weight subjects. Morbidly obese patients reported lower performance on executive scores than obese, overweight, and normal-weight subjects. Between-group difference emerged also when relevant covariates were taken into account. Our results support the view that morbid obesity is associated with lower executive performance, also considering the critical role exerted by sociodemographic (i.e., sex, age, and education) variables. Our results support the view that executive functioning should be accounted into the management of the obese patient because of non-negligible clinical relevance in diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic terms.

Functional Relationship between Inhibitory Control, Cognitive Flexibility, Psychomotor Speed and Obesity

La Marra, Marco;Ilardi, Ciro Rosario;Villano, Ines
;
Chieffi, Sergio;Polito, Rita;Monda, Vincenzo;Di Maio, Girolamo;Messina, Antonietta
2022

Abstract

In the last decades, it has been proposed that executive functions may be particularly vulnerable to weight-related issues. However, evidence on the matter is mixed, especially when the effects of sociodemographic variables are weighted. Thus, the current study aimed at further examining the relationship between executive functions and obesity. To this aim, we compared treatment-seeking overweight, obese, and morbidly obese patients with normal-weight control participants. We examined general executive functioning (Frontal Assessment Battery-15) and different executive subdomains (e.g., inhibitory control, verbal fluency, and psychomotor speed) in a clinical sample including 208 outpatients with different degrees of BMI (52 overweight, BMI 25-30, M age = 34.38; 76 obese, BMI 30-40, M age = 38.00; 80 morbidly obese, BMI > 40, M age = 36.20). Ninety-six normal-weight subjects served as controls. No difference on executive scores was detected when obese patients were compared with over- or normal-weight subjects. Morbidly obese patients reported lower performance on executive scores than obese, overweight, and normal-weight subjects. Between-group difference emerged also when relevant covariates were taken into account. Our results support the view that morbid obesity is associated with lower executive performance, also considering the critical role exerted by sociodemographic (i.e., sex, age, and education) variables. Our results support the view that executive functioning should be accounted into the management of the obese patient because of non-negligible clinical relevance in diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic terms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/477895
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