The Association between Brain Wave Activity of the Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Eating Behaviours and Attitudes of Obese New Zealand Women.
Stuart, Elizabeth Kate
Background: One-third of the New Zealand adults are clinically obese. Both obese, and individuals suffering from disordered eating behaviours have demonstrated neurological and behavioural tendencies similar to those of drug addicts. Evidence has accumulated over the previous couple of decades suggests that addiction to high sugar, high fat, highly palatable food may be one driver in the development of obesity. Objectives: The primary aim of this study was to establish if selected eating behaviours and attitudes can be predicted by activity in the brain’s dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC). The secondary aim was to investigate the relationships between the activity in the dACC and eating behaviour of obese participants enrolled in the ‘Brain, Eating Habits and Body Weight’ study. The final objective was to investigate the difference in eating behaviour scores of lean and obese participants enrolled in the ‘Brain, Eating Habits and Body Weight’ study. Design: Cross-sectional data analysis of a randomised, placebo-controlled intervention study. Participants and Methodology: Lean participants (n=12, age=39.4 ± 10.9 years) were recruited through poster advertisements in the Dunedin Public Hospital and Dunedin School of Medicine. Obese participants (n=34, age 48.2 ± 12.5 years) were recruited from the Prevention of Weight Regain (POWER) study. External, emotional and restrained eating were assessed using the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionaire. Intuitive Eating Scale-2, Mindful Eating Awareness Questionaire, Binge Eating Scale and Yale Food Addiction Scale were also used in the assessment of eating behaviours and attitudes. qEEG recordings were conducted on all participants, according to standard qEEG protocols. Results: Alpha1, Alpha2, Beta1, Beta2, Beta3, Delta and Theta brain wave activity of the dACC was unable to reliably predict eating behaviours or attitudes in the obese participants. Intuitive eating subscale ‘reliance on hunger and satiety cues’ score was negatively associated with Beta1 brain activity of the dACC. Mindful eating awareness score was positively associated with Alpha1 brain activity and Yale Food Addiction Scale score were positively associated with Alpha 2 brain activity of the dACC. As expected, eating behaviour and attitudes differed between the lean and obese groups. Lean participants had significantly higher mindful eating awareness scores and intuitive eating scores. Obese participants had significantly higher emotional, restrained, binge eating and Yale Food Addiction Scale scores. No difference in external eating scores was observed between the lean and obese groups. Conclusion: Whilst there were some interesting and significant associations between brain band activity of the dACC and eating behaviour and attitude scores. Alpha1, Alpha2, Beta1, Beta2, Beta3, Delta and Theta brain wave activity of the dACC alone, was not sufficient to reliably predict the eating behaviours and attitudes that were the focus of this study. Predicting the eating behaviours and attitudes measured, may require the investigation of activity within several regions of the brain that process attentional resources, internal self-monitoring, reward anticipation, interoception and the connectivity between these regions.
Advisor: Horwath, Caroline; Manning, Patrick; Haszard, Jill
Degree Name: Master of Dietetics
Degree Discipline: Human Nutrition
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Food Addiction; Obesity; Eating behaviours; Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex; qEEG
Research Type: Thesis