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Title:Obesity, visceral adipose tissue, and cognition in childhood
Author(s):Raine, Lauren B.
Director of Research:Hillman, Charles H.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hillman, Charles H.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):De Lisio, Michael; Johnson, Rodney; Khan, Naiman
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:There is an increasing prevalence of physical inactivity during childhood, concurrent with a rise in obesity rates, which are associated with a myriad of health complication. In addition to weight status, central adipose tissue is particularly dangerous, with visceral adipose tissue being linked to higher risks of metabolic diseases and cardiovascular complications. However, the relationship between central adiposity and brain health and cognition during childhood, and the influence of a physical activity on these relationships, is unknown. Accordingly, the aim of this investigation was to examine baseline behavioral and neuroelectric differences between healthy weight children and obese children, as well as the effect of a 9-month physical activity intervention on changes in body composition and cognition in preadolescent children. Obese children participating in a randomized controlled trial were matched with healthy weigh children participating in the same intervention. Following a 9-month physical activity intervention, children who participated in the intervention showed improved body composition, whereas those children in the waitlist-control condition, particularly obese children, gained central adipose tissue. Furthermore, obese children in the intervention showed greater changes in a cognitively demanding task, which were further related to changes in visceral adipose tissue. Beneficial changes in body composition were related to an increased capacity to allocate attentional resources and faster cognitive processing, particularly in obese intervention children. These findings highlight the benefits of physical activity, both in terms of body composition and cognitive health, particularly for obese children.
Issue Date:2016-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Lauren Raine
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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