Article

Executive personality traits and eating behavior

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Эгг Харбор Сити, New Jersey, United States
International Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 1.53). 02/2004; 114(1):83-93. DOI: 10.1080/00207450490249356
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, commonly involve a dysregulation of behavior (e.g., a lack or excess of inhibition and impulsive eating patterns) that is suggestive of prefrontal dysfunction. Functional neuro-imaging studies show that prefrontal-subcortical systems play a role in eating behavior and appetite in healthy individuals, and that people with eating disorders have altered activity in these systems. Eating behavior is often disturbed by illnesses and injuries that impinge upon prefrontal-subcortical systems. This study examined relationships between executive functioning and eating behavior in healthy individuals using validated behavioral rating scales (Frontal Systems Behavior Scale and Eating Inventory). Correlations demonstrated that increased dysexecutive traits were associated with disinhibited eating and greater food cravings. There was also a positive association with cognitive restraint of eating, suggesting that increased compensatory behaviors follow disinhibited eating. These psychometric findings reinforce those of other methodologies, supporting a role for prefrontal systems in eating.

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    ABSTRACT: Executive function (EF) has long been considered to be a unitary, domain-general cognitive ability. However, recent research suggests differentiating "hot" affective and "cool" cognitive aspects of EF. Yet, findings regarding this two-factor construct are still inconsistent. In particular, the development of this factor structure remains unclear and data on school-aged children is lacking. Furthermore, studies linking EF and overweight or obesity suggest that EF contributes to the regulation of eating behavior. So far, however, the links between EF and eating behavior have rarely been investigated in children and non-clinical populations. First, we examined whether EF can be divided into hot and cool factors or whether they actually correspond to a unitary construct in middle childhood. Second, we examined how hot and cool EF are associated with different eating styles that put children at risk of becoming overweight during development. Hot and cool EF were assessed experimentally in a non-clinical population of 1657 elementary-school children (aged 6-11 years). The "food approach" behavior was rated mainly via parent questionnaires. Findings indicate that hot EF is distinguishable from cool EF. However, only cool EF seems to represent a coherent functional entity, whereas hot EF does not seem to be a homogenous construct. This was true for a younger and an older subgroup of children. Furthermore, different EF components were correlated with eating styles, such as responsiveness to food, desire to drink, and restrained eating in girls but not in boys. This shows that lower levels of EF are not only seen in clinical populations of obese patients but are already associated with food approach styles in a normal population of elementary school-aged girls. Although the direction of effect still has to be clarified, results point to the possibility that EF constitutes a risk factor for eating styles contributing to the development of overweight in the long-term.
    Frontiers in Psychology 05/2014; 5:447. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00447 · 2.80 Impact Factor

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