Nutrition

Mindfulness meditation: an aid for obese children

Researchers highlight imbalances in the connections of different brain regions in obese children, and suggest that eating mindfully could be a therapeutic avenue.

The poor results obtained in long-term weight loss are due to the fact that adipose tissue and muscles are not the only players in weight fluctuations. It is also necessary to deal with the cerebral modifications engendered by food and physical exercise.

The brain, in a so-called mindful situation (being attentive to the signals emanating from the consumption of food, fully experiencing the act of eating, etc.), can become an actor governing eating behavior and a possible ally in the fight against obesity.

Meditation helps reduce impulsiveness and better control the urge to eat

The researchers examined, using magnetic resonance imaging, the brains of 38 children aged 8 to 13, including 5 obese and 6 overweight. These data were cross-checked with a questionnaire on eating behavior

The researchers were thus able to establish associations between brain connections and behavior. Thus, in children who tend to eat more, the region associated with impulsivity (frontal pole) is more tightly connected than that associated with inhibition (inferior parietal lobe). The situation is the opposite in children who find it easier not to overeat. The authors believe that mindfulness, which increases inhibition and decreases impulsivity, could serve to recalibrate the imbalance in brain connections associated with childhood obesity.

Source

Chodkowski et al. Imbalance in resting state functional connectivity is associated with eating behaviors and adiposity in children. Heliyon

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