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Intentional weight loss in overweight and obese individuals and cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2011
© 2011 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2011 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 12, Issue 11, pages 968–983, November 2011
How to Cite
Siervo, M., Arnold, R., Wells, J. C. K., Tagliabue, A., Colantuoni, A., Albanese, E., Brayne, C. and Stephan, B. C. M. (2011), Intentional weight loss in overweight and obese individuals and cognitive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 12: 968–983. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00903.x
- Issue published online: 17 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2011
- Received 18 April 2011; revised 7 June 2011; accepted 8 June 2011
- Cognitive function;
- dementia risk;
- weight loss
High adiposity in middle age is associated with higher dementia risk. The association between weight loss and cognitive function in older adults is still controversial. A meta-analysis was undertaken to estimate the effectiveness of intentional weight loss on cognitive function in overweight and obese adults. A structured strategy was used to search randomized and non-randomized studies reporting the effect of intentional and significant weight loss on cognitive function in overweight and obese subjects. Information on study design, age, nutritional status, weight-loss strategy, weight lost and cognitive testing was extracted. A random-effect meta-analysis was conducted to obtain summary effect estimates for memory and attention–executive domains. Twelve studies met inclusion criteria. Seven were randomized trials and the remaining five included a control group. A low-order significant effect was found for an improvement in cognitive performance with weight loss in memory (effect size 0.13, 95% CI 0.00–0.26, P = 0.04) and attention/executive functioning (effect size 0.14, 95% CI 0.01–0.27, P < 0.001). Studies were heterogeneous in study design, sample selection, weight-loss intervention and assessment of cognitive function. Weight loss appears to be associated with low-order improvements in executive/attention functioning and memory in obese but not in overweight individuals.