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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


WANDERLEY, Marjorie Rodrigues  and  HAMDAN, Amer Carvalho. The association between obesity and inhibitory control: a systematic review. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2015, vol.7, n.1, pp.24-33. ISSN 2075-9479.

Obesity is a complex condition influenced by several factors. A brief literature review indicates that obesity may be related to executive functions, a set of mental processes that we need to enable execute a directed behavior to a goal. One of these factors that seem to have great importance is the inhibitory control, a neuropsychological construct defined as the ability to suppress certain stimuli that may impede the achievement of a goal. However, there is no consensus on the influence of this function in obesity. Thus, this research aims to investigate the relations between obesity and inhibitory control and its consequences for the treatment of obesity. A survey in four databases was made, using the descriptors inhibitory control and obesity, in titles or abstracts from 2003 to March 2014. Researches linking obesity and inhibitory control through neuropsychological test, comparing of obese people with normal weight group, were included, and excluded articles that do not use the test results in order to compare between groups, studies considering overweight and obese sample in a single category of analysis and research that investigated frontal brain areas, but not specifically inhibitory control. Studies found were analyzed according to demographic characteristics of the sample, measures utilized and results. Ten articles were analyzed, pointing to a relationship between inhibitory control and obesity, since the majority of studies found lower rates of inhibitory control in populations with higher body mass indexes. The importance of this relationship is the possibility of inclusion of inhibitory control training as part of programs for weight loss, in addition to the common attempts of food restriction and physical exercise practice.

Keywords : Inhibitory control; Obesity; Systematic review.

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