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Does inhibitory dysfunction contribute to poor emotional aspect of eating behaviours in obesity? A study among a sample of young adults in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

Authors:

Nimantha Karunathilaka ,

General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, LK
About Nimantha
Department of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
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Chandana Hewage,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Chandana
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Savithri Wimalasekera,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Savithri
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Thamara Amarasekara

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About Thamara
Department of Allied Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Abstract

Background:

Recent studies have suggested that poor inhibitory control can lead to poor emotional aspect of eating behaviour resulting in obesity. Considering this, a study was conducted to assess the association between obesity, inhibitory control and emotional aspect of eating behaviour among young adults in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

Methods:

Young adults of age 21–25 years (n=231) were studied. Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) were calculated to assess the generalized and central obesity, while inhibitory control was assessed through number of incorrect responses in Stroop, Stop signal and Go/no-go tasks. The emotional aspect of eating behaviour was assessed via self-administered Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (Revised-18), which consists of three subscales; cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating.

Results:

The mean age of the study sample was 23.4±1.4 years with males comprising 51.9%. There was a statistically significant group effect in mean incorrect responses of Stroop task and Stop signal task scores with normal, overweight and obese individuals (p<0.001). Further, obese individuals reported significantly higher scores in cognitive restraint and uncontrolled eating when compared to the normal counterparts in Three Factor Eating Questionnaire Revised-18 (p<0.05). Among high WHR categories for males and females, there was a significantly higher incorrect response scores in Stroop task when compared to the normal WHR subjects (p<0.001). Three Factor Eating Questionnaire Revised-18 scores revealed that both males and females of high WHR category had a higher but insignificant cognitive restraint, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating when compared with normal WHR individuals (p>0.05). A positive significant correlation was observed in mean incorrect responses of Stroop task with cognitive restraint subscale (r=0.238, p<0.001).

Conclusion:

Poor inhibitory control with abnormal emotional aspect of eating despite cognitive restraint was seen in those with obesity.

How to Cite: Karunathilaka, N., Hewage, C., Wimalasekera, S. and Amarasekara, T., 2018. Does inhibitory dysfunction contribute to poor emotional aspect of eating behaviours in obesity? A study among a sample of young adults in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science, 55(1), pp.12–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v55i1.4911
Published on 30 Aug 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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