S. van der Oord
- Executive function training with game elements for obese children: A novel treatment to enhance self-regulatory abilities for weight-control
- Behaviour Research and Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 51 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
For obese children behavioral treatment results in only small changes in relative weight and frequent relapse. The current study investigated the effects of an Executive Functioning (EF) training with game-elements on weight loss maintenance in obese children, over and above the care as usual in an inpatient treatment program. Forty-four children (aged 8-14 years) who were in the final months of a 10-months inpatient treatment program in a medical paediatric centre were randomized to either the 6 week EF-training condition or to a care as usual only control group. The EF-training consisted of a 25-session training of inhibition and working memory. Treatment outcomes were child performances on cognitive tasks of inhibition and working memory and childcare worker ratings on EF-symptoms as well as weight loss maintenance after leaving the clinic. Children in the EF-training condition showed significantly more improvement than the children in the care as usual only group on the working memory task as well as on the childcare worker reports of working memory and meta-cognition. They were also more capable to maintain their weight loss until 8 weeks post-training. This study shows promising evidence for the efficacy of an EF-training as weight stabilization intervention in obese children.
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