Extreme obesity has been associated with cognitive deficits throughout life and may be a risk factor for dementia in later life. However, the relationship between obesity and performing specific tasks, such as learning or processing information quickly, is complicated by a body of literature, which often fails to adequately account for medical and psychiatric conditions that frequently co-occur with extreme obesity.
Results and Conclusion
A brief cognitive test was used in 117 extremely obese adults and 46 lean adults for a control group. Individuals with extreme obesity in this sample performed more poorly on cognitive measures of self-controlled behaviors, processing speed, and learning compared to lean controls. Abdominal obesity was associated with executive functioning deficits independent of many common medical and psychiatric factors.