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Association among Executive Function, Physical Activity, and Weight Status in Youth

1
Applied physiology and Rehabilitation Department, Lithuanian Sports University, Sport str.6, Kaunas LT-44221, Lithuania
2
Biomedical Department, Panevežio kolegija/University of Applied Sciences, Laivės a. 23, Panevėžys LT-35200, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 677; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100677
Received: 22 July 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 8 October 2019
Background and objectives: Executive function (EF) is an umbrella term that encompasses the set of higher-order processes. Core EFs are inhibition, interference control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. The aim of the study was to compare the EF between normal weight (NW) and inactive overweight (OW), NW and sport trained (ST), ST and OW 16–19-year-old youths. In addition, the relationship between EF and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was evaluated. Materials and Methods: 10 NW, 14 ST, and 10 OW youths participated in this study. EF was evaluated using the ANAM4 battery. VO2peak was measured during an increasing walking exercise (modified Balke test). Results: The NW youths demonstrated better visual tracking and attention (94.28% ± 3.11%/90.23% ± 2.01%), response inhibition (95.65% ± 1.83%/92.48% ± 1.05%), speed of processing, and alternating attention with a motor speed component (95.5% ± 3.51%/89.01% ± 4.09%) than the OW youths (p < 0.05). The ST youths demonstrated better visual tracking and attention (96.76% ± 1.85%/90.23% ± 2.01%), response inhibition (97.58% ± 0.94%/92.48% ± 1.05%), speed of processing, and alternating attention with a motor speed component (98.35% ± 1.35%/89.01% ± 4.09%) than the OW youths (p < 0.05). The ST youths demonstrated better EF results than NW youths (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The ST 16–19-year-old youths demonstrated better EF than their OW and NW peers. The NW youths demonstrated better EF than their OW peers. There was a significant correlation between VO2peak and EF indicators in all groups of participants. View Full-Text
Keywords: youth; overweight; normal weight; executive function youth; overweight; normal weight; executive function
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Borkertienė, V.; Stasiulis, A.; Zacharienė, B.; Kyguolienė, L.; Bacevičienė, R. Association among Executive Function, Physical Activity, and Weight Status in Youth. Medicina 2019, 55, 677.

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