The Gulf Today - Panorama - - HAVE YOU HEARD? -

Obese kids, or those with lesser aer­o­bic fit­ness, are as smart as their leaner peers, finds a study that an­a­lysed asso­ciations of fit­ness, mo­tor com­pe­tence and adi­pos­ity with cog­ni­tion. The study, led by re­searchers from the Univer­sity of East­ern Fin­land, showed that chil­dren with dif­fer­ent lev­els of aer­o­bic fit­ness or body fat per­cent­age did not dif­fer in cog­ni­tion. In fact, boys with higher aer­o­bic fit­ness at the base­line of the study had poorer cog­ni­tion dur­ing the two-year fol­low-up than those with lower fit­ness. The re­sults also show boys with bet­ter mo­tor skills had a smaller in­crease in their cog­ni­tive skills than those with poorer mo­tor skills. How­ever, “it is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that these re­sults do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect a ca­sual re­la­tion be­tween mo­tor skills and cog­ni­tion,” said Eero Haa­pala, post­doc­toral re­searcher from the var­sity.

“Boys with poorer mo­tor and cog­ni­tive skills caught up with their more skil­ful peers dur­ing the two-year fol­low-up,” Haa­pala added. Al­though the study sug­gests that mo­tor skills and cog­ni­tion are as­so­ci­ated with one an­other in boys, it would be pre­ma­ture to claim that mo­tor skills boost cog­ni­tion. Mind­ful­ness is a mind-body prac­tice where in­di­vid­u­als learn to achieve height­ened aware­ness of their cur­rent state of mind and im­me­di­ate en­vi­ron­ment in the present mo­ment. The study showed that in­di­vid­u­als who par­tic­i­pated in mind­ful­ness train­ing as part of an in­ten­sive weight man­age­ment pro­gramme lost three kilo­grammes of weight in six months than oth­ers who par­tic­i­pated in obe­sity man­age­ment pro­gramme. “This re­search is sig­nif­i­cant as we have shown that prob­lem­atic eat­ing be­hav­iour can be im­proved with mind­ful­ness ap­pli­ca­tion,” said Pe­tra Han­sona, lead re­searcher and post­doc­toral stu­dent from the Univer­sity of War­wick­shire in the UK. For the study, the team ex­am­ined weight loss among a small group of peo­ple who were at­tend­ing the mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary tier 3 weight man­age­ment pro­gramme. Find­ings showed that in­di­vid­u­als who at­tended only one or two cour­ses lost, on av­er­age, 0.9 kilo­grams dur­ing the same pe­riod. Con­versely, those who did not com­plete the course tended to weigh more than those who fin­ished the group mind­ful­ness course.

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