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Appetite. 2007 Nov;49(3):675-8. Epub 2007 Apr 10.

Is there any relationship between obesity and mental flexibility in children?

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  • 1Institute of Physiology Medical School, Pécs University, Szigeti str. 12., Pf. 99, H-7602, Pécs, Hungary


Cognitive profiles of 12 schoolboys with obesity were compared with their peers with normal weight. For the cognitive assessment five clinical tasks were selected: digit span memory, Raven's progressive matrices (intelligence), semantic verbal fluency, D2 attention endurance and Wisconsin card sorting test. We found no differences in memory, intelligence and verbal fluency between the two groups. Children with obesity performed worse on D2 and Wisconsin tests. Correlations confirmed relationships between body weight, body mass index, attention and Wisconsin measured perseveration in set-shifting. This suggests that childhood obesity involves cognitive deficits in shifting and attention abilities.

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