Effects of a multicomponent behavioral intervention on impulsivity and cognitive deficits in adolescents with excess weight

Elena Delgado-Rico, Jacqueline Schmidt Rio-Valle, Natalia Albein-Urios, Alfonso Caracuel, Emilio Gonzalez-Jimenez, Maria J Piqueras, Pilar Brandi, Isabel M Ruiz-Lopez, Inmaculada Garcia-Rodriguez, Miguel Martin-Matillas, Manuel Delgado-Fernandez, Cristina Campoy, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to explore the effects of a multidisciplinary behavioral intervention including cognitive behavioral therapy, structured physical activity, and dietary counseling on impulsive personality and cognitive skills and subsequent BMI loss in excess weight adolescents. Forty-two adolescents with excess weight (14 males and 28 females, range 12?17 years), as defined by the International Obesity Task Force Criteria, participated in our study. We used a longitudinal observational design with two assessments: before and after treatment. We collected baseline measures of impulsive personality (UPPS-P scale), cognitive performance (letter number sequencing, Stroop and Iowa gambling task), and biometric parameters. After 12 weeks of intervention, parallel measures were used to determine whether treatment-induced changes in impulsivity and cognition predicted changes in BMI. BMI showed a statistically significant reduction after treatment [from mean (SD) 29.36 (4.51) to 27.31 (4.41), Cohen?s d=0.5]. Greater reductions in negative urgency (negative-emotion-driven impulsivity) and greater improvement in cognitive inhibitory control skills were associated with greater reductions in BMI. Because the design was correlational and lacked a control group, future studies should clarify whether these associations reflect a causal effect or just overlapping improvements associated with a third variable (e.g. increases in attention procurement or motivation).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609 - 615
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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