Brain Responses to Food Logos in Obese and Healthy Weight Children
Objective: To evaluate brain activation in response to common food and nonfood logos in healthy weight and obese children. Study design: Ten healthy weight children (mean body mass index in the 50th percentile) and 10 obese children (mean body mass index in the 97.9th percentile) completed self-report measures of self-control. They then underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while viewing food and nonfood logos. Results: Compared with the healthy weight children, obese children showed significantly less brain activation to food logos in the bilateral middle/inferior prefrontal cortex, an area involved in cognitive control. Conclusion: When shown food logos, obese children showed significantly less brain activation than the healthy weight children in regions associated with cognitive control. This provides initial neuroimaging evidence that obese children may be more vulnerable to the effects of food advertising.