Disordered eating attitudes and behavioral and neuroelectric indices of cognitive flexibility in individuals with overweight and obesity

Caitlyn G. Edwards, Anne M. Walk, Sharon V. Thompson, Sean P. Mullen, Hannah D. Holscher, Naiman A. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Impairment in cognitive flexibility is a trait characteristic among individuals with diagnosed eating disorders. However, the extent to which these relationships exist in individuals with overweight or obesity remains unclear. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge characterizing the neural underpinnings of these relationships. The current study aimed to investigate disordered eating attitudes and cognitive flexibility among adults with overweight and obesity. The Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and a task-switching paradigm were collected from 132 adults (50 males, Body Mass Index (BMI) = 32.0 ± 5.8 kg/m 2 ). Behavioral measures (accuracy and reaction time (RT)) and neuroelectric indices (amplitude and latency) of the P3 component were assessed. Hierarchical linear regressions, following adjustment of age, sex, intelligence quotient (IQ), weight status, and diet quality were developed using summative and subscale scores of the EAT-26. Higher EAT-26 summative scores, and the Dieting subscale, were related to longer RT. Only the Bulimia and Food Preoccupation subscale was related to longer P3 latency. The relationship between disordered eating attitudes and cognitive flexibility extends to individuals with overweight and obesity and is independent of age, sex, IQ, weight status, and diet quality. These findings are important, as differences in cognitive flexibility can lead to behavioral rigidity. Future work should aim to examine other neuroelectric components to identify where differences driving behavioral latencies may be occurring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1902
JournalNutrients
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Event-related potential
  • Feeding behavior
  • Obesity
  • P3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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