Eating and weight disorders : EWD 2016 Oct 15()
The aim of the present study was to compare decision-making and cognitive flexibility in patients with disordered eating and weight, ranging from anorexia nervosa to obesity, and a healthy group.
Participants were 113 patients (86 with eating disorders and 27 with obesity), and a group of 39 healthy subjects; all completed the Iowa gambling task, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and several clinical self-report measures.
Eating disordered and obese patients showed impaired performance on the decision-making task, and the obese group showed the worst performance on the set-shifting task. There were no associations between neuropsychological performance and eating or obsessive symptomatology, although significant associations were found with anxiety and depression measures.
Considering the executive functions as a transdiagnostic process in ED and obesity could provide explanations for the inability to regulate food intake, present in both ED and obese patients. Implications of these executive impairments in the development and maintenance of ED and obesity are discussed.