Reaction time (RT) testing is one of the oldest diagnostic methods used in modern psychology, and is known as simple and sensitive cognitive test. It has been recently reported that RT is related to obesity in young, adult and elderly individuals. However, most of the studies included small sample of participants, used just body mass index (BMI) as body obesity index, and did not consider some potential confounders such as age, socioeconomic status and physical activity in their studies. Furthermore, there is little and contradictory results for children. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the relationship between RT and weight status in a sample of children.
Three hundred and fifty four 9–12 year old schoolboys underwent standard anthropometry, and various simple RT tests.
After controlling for potential confounders no significant relationship was observed between audio-RT (RTA) and clinical RT (RTclin) with BMI, %fat, waist circumference (WC) and waist to height ratio (WHtR) (P > 0.05). But, significant relationship (β = 0.18; P = 0.02) was observed between visual-RT (RTV) and %fat (but not BMI, WC and WHtR).
Among the various simple RT tasks and central and total body obesity indices, just significant relationship was observed between %fat and RTV in the schoolboys. According to the results, it is concluded that RT impairment due to obesity may less be observed, or may not be observed for some types of RT tasks and obesity indices during childhood.
Merkel J. Die zeitlichen Verhältnisse der Willensthähigkeit. Philos Stud. 1885;2:73–127.
Botwinik J, Thompson LW. Premotor and motor components of reaction time. J Exp Psychol. 1966;71:9–15. CrossRef
Magill RA. Motor learning and control: Concepts and applications. 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011.
Esmaeilzadeh S. Reaction time: does it relate to weight status in children? HOMO-J Compar Hum Biol. 2014;65:171–8. CrossRef
Moradi A, Esmaeilzadeh S. Association between reaction time, speed and agility in schoolboys. Sport Sci Health. 2015;11:251–6. CrossRef
Esmaeilzadeh S, Farzizadeh R, Kalantari HA, Mahmoudi A. Does obesity cause reaction time impairment in youth? HOMO-J Compar Hum Biol, Under review.
Durlach PJ, Edmunds R, Howard L, Tipper SP. A rapid effect of caffeinated beverages on two choice reaction time tasks. Nutr Neurosci. 2002;5:433–42. CrossRef
Sibley BA, Etnier JL. The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: A meta-analysis. Pediatr Exer Sci. 2003;15:243–56. CrossRef
Kamijo K, Pontifex MB, Khan NA, Raine LB, Scudder MR, Drollette ES, et al. The negative association of childhood obesity to cognitive control of action monitoring. Cere Cortex. 2014;24:654–62. CrossRef
Skurvydas A, Gutnik B, Zuoza AK, Nash D, Zuoziene IJ, Mickeviciene D. Relationship between simple reaction time and body mass index. Homo-J compar Hum boil. 2009;60:77–85. CrossRef
Deore DN, Surwase SP, Masroor S, Khan ST, Kathore V. A cross sectional study on the relationship between the body mass index (BMI) and the audiovisual reaction time (ART). J Clin Diag Res. 2012;6:1466–8.
Gunstad J, Paul RH, Cohaen RA, Tate DF, Gordon E. Obesity is associated with memory deficits in young and middle aged adults. J Eat Weight Disord. 2006;11:15–9. CrossRef
Nene AS, Pazare PA, Sharma KD. A study of relation between body mass index and simple reaction time in healthy young females. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011;55:288–91. PubMed
Nikam LH, Gadkari JV. Effect of age, gender and body mass index on visual and auditory reaction times in Indian population. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012;56:94–9. PubMed
Roche A, Heymsfield SB, Lohman TE. Body Composition. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1996.
Welford AT. Choice reaction time: basic concepts. In: Welford AT, editor. Reaction Times. New York: Academic; 1980. p. 73–128.
Eckner JT, Whitacre RD, Kirsch N, Richardson JK. Evaluating a clinical measure of reaction time. Arch Physcal Med Rehab. 2006;87:10. CrossRef
Kowalski KC, Crocker PRE, Faulkner RA. Validation of the physical activity questionnaire for older children. Pediatr Exerc Sci. 1997;9:174–86. CrossRef
Kowalski KC, Crocker PRE, Donen RMD. The physical activity questionnaire for older children (PAQ-C) and adolescents (PAQ-A) manual. Retrieved on 2007; from http://www.hkin.educ.ubc.ca/behavioural/PAQ%20manual.pdf.
Esmaeilzadeh S. Relationship between depressive symptoms with physical activity and physical fitness among children. Ment Health Prev. 2014;2:11–7. CrossRef
Nooyens AC, Koppes LL, Visscher TL, Twisk JW, Kemper HC, Schuit AJ, et al. Adolescent skinfold thickness is a better predictor of high body fatness in adults than is body mass index: the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1533–9. PubMed
- Simple reaction time and obesity in children: whether there is a relationship?
- BioMed Central