Food addiction and impaired executive functions in women with obesity
Background: Individuals with obesity (OB) often report suffering from addic- tion-like symptoms. As in addictions, deficits in executive function domains, such as decision-making and sustained attention, are found in OB. No study to date has examined the associations between food addiction, OB, and neuro- psychological performance.
Method: Thirty-three adult women with OB and 36 healthy weight controls completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale Version 2.0, a validated instrument used to assess food-related addictive behaviours. Additionally, participants completed computerized versions of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and Conners' Continuous Performance Test, second edition (CPT-II) to examine decision-making and attentional control, respectively.
Results: Food addiction criteria were met in 24.2% of the participants with OB and in 2.8% of the control group. In the OB group, food addiction severity levels were negatively correlated with overall scores on the IGT. Participants with OB meeting criteria for food addiction committed more omissions and perseveration errors on the CPT-II compared with those without food addiction.