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Food Addiction and Cognitive Functioning: What Happens in Adolescents?

Abstract : This study aimed to examine cognitive factors associated to food addiction (FA) symptoms in a non-clinical sample of adolescents. A group of 25 adolescents (12-18 years; Mean age = 15.2 years) with a high level of FA symptoms (two and more) were compared to a control group without FA symptoms (n = 25), matched on sex and age, on four Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) neuropsychological tasks (MT: Multitasking Test; OTS: One Touch Stockings of Cambridge; SST: Stop Signal Task; RVP: Rapid Visual Information Processing). They were also compared on self-reported questionnaires assessing binge eating, depressive and anxiety symptoms, impulsivity levels, as well as executive functioning difficulties. Group comparisons did not show significant differences on neuropsychological tasks' performances. However, effect sizes' estimates showed small to medium effect sizes on three scores: adolescents with a high level of FA symptoms showed a higher probability of an error following an incorrect answer (OTS), a higher probability of false alarm, and a poorer target sensitivity (RVP). When referring to self-reported measurements, they reported significantly more executive functioning difficulties, more binge eating, depressive symptoms and higher impulsivity levels. Overall, results suggested that cognitive difficulties related to FA symptoms seem to manifest themselves more clearly when assessing daily activities with a self-reported questionnaire, which in turn are strongly related to overeating behaviors and psychological symptoms. Future longitudinal research is needed to examine the evolution of those variables, their relationships, and contribution in obesity onset. More precisely, the present findings highlighted the importance of affective difficulties related to this condition, as well as the need to take them into account in its assessment.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 7:56:01 AM
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C. Rodrigue, S. Iceta, C. Bégin. Food Addiction and Cognitive Functioning: What Happens in Adolescents?. Nutrients, MDPI, 2020, 12 (12), pp.3633. ⟨10.3390/nu12123633⟩. ⟨inserm-03268239⟩



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