Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr. 2015 Jan;145(1):143-9. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.198457. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Dietary fiber is positively associated with cognitive control among prepubertal children.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and nakhan2@illinois.edu.
2
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and.
3
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
4
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Converging evidence now indicates that aerobic fitness and adiposity are key correlates of childhood cognitive function and brain health. However, the evidence relating dietary intake to executive function/cognitive control remains limited.

OBJECTIVE:

The current study assessed cross-sectional associations between performance on an attentional inhibition task and dietary fatty acids (FAs), fiber, and overall diet quality among children aged 7-9 y (n = 65).

METHODS:

Attentional inhibition was assessed by using a modified flanker task. Three-day food records were used to conduct nutrient-level analyses and to calculate diet quality (Healthy Eating Index-2005) scores.

RESULTS:

Bivariate correlations revealed that socioeconomic status and sex were not related to task performance or diet measures. However, age, intelligence quotient (IQ), pubertal staging, maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), and percentage of fat mass (%fat mass) correlated with task accuracy. Hierarchical regression models were used to determine the relation between diet variables and task accuracy and reaction time across both congruent and incongruent trials of the flanker task. After adjustment of confounding variables (age, IQ, pubertal staging, V̇O2max, and %fat mass), congruent accuracy was positively associated with insoluble fiber (β = 0.26, P = 0.03) and total dietary fiber (β = 0.23, P = 0.05). Incongruent response accuracy was positively associated with insoluble fiber (β = 0.35, P < 0.01), pectins (β = 0.25, P = 0.04), and total dietary fiber (β = 0.32, P < 0.01). Higher diet quality was related to lower accuracy interference (β = -0.26, P = 0.03), whereas higher total FA intake was related to greater accuracy interference (β = 0.24, P = 0.04). No statistically significant associations were observed between diet variables and reaction time measures.

CONCLUSION:

These results demonstrate that children's diet quality, specifically dietary fiber, is an important correlate of performance on a cognitive task requiring variable amounts of cognitive control.

KEYWORDS:

adiposity; aerobic fitness; cognition; diet quality; dietary fiber; pediatrics

PMID:
25527669
PMCID:
PMC4264019
DOI:
10.3945/jn.114.198457
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center