Behavioural support of a proposed neurocognitive connection between physical activity and improved eating behaviour in obese women

Academic Article


  • Problem An explanation of the association between physical activity and improved eating behaviours has recently been posited via the effect of physical activity on executive functions of the brain resulting in a reduction in the hedonic drive to overeat. Decomposition and clarification of embedded relationship through a behavioural/psychological framework was sought. Methods Changes in theory-based psychosocial factors over 26 weeks were tested with 134 severely obese women (age 41.7 ± 10.4 years) initiating a physical activity support treatment. Mediation and reciprocal effects analyses incorporating these changes were then computed. Results Significant improvements in mood, self-regulation for eating, and self-efficacy for controlled eating were found. Emanating from mood change, a reciprocal relationship between changes in the self-regulation and self-efficacy measures was found. Thus, each factor reinforced the other's change. Conclusion Findings suggest a convergence of neurocognitively and behaviourally based explanations of the relations of physical activity and controlled eating. Implications for behavioural weight-loss theory and treatments were suggested. © 2013 Asian Oceanian Association for the Study of Obesity. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Annesi JJ; Porter KJ
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 4