A review of the association between obesity and cognitive function across the lifespan: implications for novel approaches to prevention and treatment

Smith, E., Hay, P., Campbell, L., and Trollor, J.N. (2011) A review of the association between obesity and cognitive function across the lifespan: implications for novel approaches to prevention and treatment. Obesity Reviews, 12 (9). pp. 740-755.

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Abstract

Recent research suggests that increased adiposity is associated with poor cognitive performance, independently of associated medical conditions. The evidence regarding this relationship is examined in this review article. A relatively consistent finding across the lifespan is that obesity is associated with cognitive deficits, especially in executive function, in children, adolescents and adults. However, as illustrated by contradictory studies, the relationship between obesity and cognition is uncertain in the elderly, partly because of inaccuracy of body mass index as a measure of adiposity as body composition changes with aging. This review further discusses whether obesity is a cause or a consequence of these cognitive deficits, acknowledging the possible bidirectional relationship. The possible effects of increased adiposity on the brain are summarized. Our investigations suggest that weight gain results, at least in part, from a neurological predisposition characterized by reduced executive function, and in turn obesity itself has a compounding negative impact on the brain via mechanisms currently attributed to low-grade systemic inflammation, elevated lipids and/or insulin resistance. The possible role of cognitive remediation treatment strategies to prevent and/or treat obesity is discussed.

Item ID: 21067
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: adiposity, body mass index, cognition, cognitive impairment, obesity
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ISSN: 1467-789X
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 04:40
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics > 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
Downloads: Total: 3
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