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Associations between inhibitory control, eating behaviours and adiposity in 6 year-old children

Associations between inhibitory control, eating behaviours and adiposity in 6 year-old children
Associations between inhibitory control, eating behaviours and adiposity in 6 year-old children
Background

Lower inhibitory control has been associated with obesity. One prediction is that lower inhibitory control underlies eating behaviours that promote increased energy intakes. This study examined the relationships between children’s inhibitory control measured using the Stop Signal Task (SST), body composition and eating behaviours, which included self-served portion size, number of servings, eating rate, and energy intake at lunch and in an eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) task.

Methods

The sample included 255 6-year-old children from an Asian cohort. Stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) was used as an index of inhibitory control. Children participated in a recorded self-served lunchtime meal, followed by the EAH task where they were exposed to energy-dense snacks. Behavioural coding of oral processing was used to estimate eating rates (g/min). BMI, waist circumference and skinfolds were used as indices of adiposity.

Results

Children with lower inhibitory control tended to self-serve larger food portions (p = 0.054), had multiple food servings (p = 0.006) and significantly faster eating rates (p = 0.041). Inhibitory control did not predict energy intake at lunch (p = 0.17) or during the EAH task (p = 0.45), and was unrelated to measures of adiposity (p > 0.32). Twenty percent of the children in the sample had problems focusing on the SST and were described as ‘restless’. Post-hoc analysis revealed that these children had lower inhibitory control (p < 0.001) and consumed more energy during the EAH task (p = 0.01), but did not differ in any other key outcomes from the rest of the sample (p > 0.1).

Conclusions

Children with lower inhibitory control showed a trend to select larger food portions, had multiple food servings and faster eating rates, but were equally as responsive to snacks served in the absence of hunger as children with better inhibitory control. Inhibitory control may impact a number of eating behaviours, not limited to energy-dense snacks.

0307-0565
1344–1353
Fogel, Anna
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McCrickerd, K.
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Goh, Ai Ting
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Fries, Lisa
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Chong, Yap-Seng
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Tan, Kok Hian
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Yap, Fabian
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Shek, Lynette P.
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Meaney, Michael J.
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Cai, Shirong
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Silveria, P.P.
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Broekman, Birit
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Lee, Yung Seng
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Godfrey, Keith
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Chong, Mary F.F.
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Forde, Ciaran G
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Fogel, Anna
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McCrickerd, K.
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Goh, Ai Ting
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Fries, Lisa
87463d49-0bf8-4bfc-9c16-9ad1d71eb199
Chong, Yap-Seng
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Tan, Kok Hian
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Yap, Fabian
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Shek, Lynette P.
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Meaney, Michael J.
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Cai, Shirong
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Silveria, P.P.
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Broekman, Birit
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Lee, Yung Seng
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Godfrey, Keith
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Chong, Mary F.F.
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Forde, Ciaran G
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Fogel, Anna, McCrickerd, K., Goh, Ai Ting, Fries, Lisa, Chong, Yap-Seng, Tan, Kok Hian, Yap, Fabian, Shek, Lynette P., Meaney, Michael J., Cai, Shirong, Silveria, P.P., Broekman, Birit, Lee, Yung Seng, Godfrey, Keith, Chong, Mary F.F. and Forde, Ciaran G (2019) Associations between inhibitory control, eating behaviours and adiposity in 6 year-old children. International Journal of Obesity, 43 (7), 1344–1353. (doi:10.1038/s41366-019-0343-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background

Lower inhibitory control has been associated with obesity. One prediction is that lower inhibitory control underlies eating behaviours that promote increased energy intakes. This study examined the relationships between children’s inhibitory control measured using the Stop Signal Task (SST), body composition and eating behaviours, which included self-served portion size, number of servings, eating rate, and energy intake at lunch and in an eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) task.

Methods

The sample included 255 6-year-old children from an Asian cohort. Stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) was used as an index of inhibitory control. Children participated in a recorded self-served lunchtime meal, followed by the EAH task where they were exposed to energy-dense snacks. Behavioural coding of oral processing was used to estimate eating rates (g/min). BMI, waist circumference and skinfolds were used as indices of adiposity.

Results

Children with lower inhibitory control tended to self-serve larger food portions (p = 0.054), had multiple food servings (p = 0.006) and significantly faster eating rates (p = 0.041). Inhibitory control did not predict energy intake at lunch (p = 0.17) or during the EAH task (p = 0.45), and was unrelated to measures of adiposity (p > 0.32). Twenty percent of the children in the sample had problems focusing on the SST and were described as ‘restless’. Post-hoc analysis revealed that these children had lower inhibitory control (p < 0.001) and consumed more energy during the EAH task (p = 0.01), but did not differ in any other key outcomes from the rest of the sample (p > 0.1).

Conclusions

Children with lower inhibitory control showed a trend to select larger food portions, had multiple food servings and faster eating rates, but were equally as responsive to snacks served in the absence of hunger as children with better inhibitory control. Inhibitory control may impact a number of eating behaviours, not limited to energy-dense snacks.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 February 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 March 2019
Published date: July 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432050
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432050
ISSN: 0307-0565
PURE UUID: c3039cc0-6129-454c-bb6b-77560029cde3
ORCID for Keith Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jun 2019 16:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 07:28

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Contributors

Author: Anna Fogel
Author: K. McCrickerd
Author: Ai Ting Goh
Author: Lisa Fries
Author: Yap-Seng Chong
Author: Kok Hian Tan
Author: Fabian Yap
Author: Lynette P. Shek
Author: Michael J. Meaney
Author: Shirong Cai
Author: P.P. Silveria
Author: Birit Broekman
Author: Yung Seng Lee
Author: Keith Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: Mary F.F. Chong
Author: Ciaran G Forde

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