Objective To assess associations between adiposity and hippocampal-dependent and hippocampal-independent memory forms among prepubertal children. Study design Prepubertal children (age 7-9 years; n = 126), classified as non-overweight (<85th percentile body mass index [BMI]-for-age [n = 73]) or overweight/obese (≥85th percentile BMI-for-age [n = 53]), completed relational (hippocampal-dependent) and item (hippocampal-independent) memory tasks. Performance was assessed with both direct (behavioral accuracy) and indirect (preferential disproportionate viewing [PDV]) measures. Adiposity (ie, percent whole-body fat mass, subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, visceral adipose tissue, and total abdominal adipose tissue) was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Backward regression identified significant (P <.05) predictive models of memory performance. Covariates included age, sex, pubertal timing, socioeconomic status (SES), IQ, oxygen consumption, and BMI z-score. Results Among overweight/obese children, total abdominal adipose tissue was a significant negative predictor of relational memory behavioral accuracy, and pubertal timing together with SES jointly predicted the PDV measure of relational memory. In contrast, among non-overweight children, male sex predicted item memory behavioral accuracy, and a model consisting of SES and BMI z-score jointly predicted the PDV measure of relational memory. Conclusion Regional, but not whole-body, fat deposition was selectively and negatively associated with hippocampal-dependent relational memory among overweight/obese prepubertal children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health