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A pilot study: inhibition in eating behavior of children through eating in the absence of hunger paradigm and electroencephalography




Karges, Sunny, author
Davies, Patti, advisor
Gavin, Bill, advisor
Johnson, Susan, committee member
Shomaker, Lauren, committee member

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Objective. Eating behaviors contribute to the issue of obesity. The purpose of this research is to determine if there is an association between neural inhibition and behavioral inhibition relating to eating in children (age 4-6 years). Method. Neural inhibition was measured via EEG recordings during go/no-go task using visual food cues. Behavioral inhibition was measured via the amount consumed in free access phase of Eating in the Absence of Hunger (EAH) protocol. Other outcome measures included: Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ), a survey developed based on the Picky Eating in Toddlers and Preschoolers Questionnaire, and body mass index (BMI) measurements. Results. This study found a significant correlation between BMI and kcal consumed in free access phase of EAH protocol (p=.006). This study did not find significant correlation between neural inhibition, as measured by N2 amplitude during no-go tasks, and kcal during free access phase. Conclusions. Neural processing of young children possibly varies from that of older children and adults. Further research should be conducted to determine the development of neural processing in children as well as the relationship between development and behavioral inhibition related to eating behaviors.


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