Association between childhood obesity, cognitive development, physical fitness and social-emotional wellbeing in a transitional economy.
Galván García, Marcos
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Background: It has been suggested that obese children have lower cognitive function, demonstrate poorer physical performance and are more susceptible to social-emotional problems. Aims: To describe associations between human physical growth, cognitive development, physical fitness and social-emotional characteristics of obese and non-obese children and to verify the predictors of intellectual coefficient by socioeconomic status (SES). Subjects and methods: A sample of 107 non-obese (N-Ob) children [?1?z-score body mass index (BMI) ?1?z-score] and 108 obese (Ob) children [2 z-score ?BMI ?5?z-score] from a larger cohort was evaluated. Intellectual coefficient (IQ), social-emotional wellbeing (SEW), 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and SES (mid-low, low and very low) were assessed. Results: Ob children were taller, heavier and present more height for age and BMI than N-Ob children (p?<?0.001). A significant correlation between IQ and SEW (r?=?0.14), 6MWT and BMI z-score (r?=??0.18) and 6MWT and SEW (r?=?0.15) was found. Multiple regression analysis revealed that BMI z-score had a negative impact on IQ in the mid-low SES sub-group and that SEW had a positive effect on IQ in the very-low SES sub-group. Conclusions: In Chilean pre-school children from low-income families cognitive ability varied according to SES.