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Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism

Editor-in-Chief: Kiess, Wieland

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Cognitive Profile, Parental Education and BMI in Children: Reflections on Common Neuroendrocrinobiological Roots

Pasquale Parisi1 / Alberto Verrotti2 / Maria Chiara Paolino1 / Silvia Miano1 / Antonella Urbano1 / Mariangela Bernabucci1 / Maria Pia Villa1

1Child Neurology, Paediatric Sleep Centre and Pediatric Endocrinology Division, Chair of Paediatrics, II Faculty of Medicine, “Sapienza University” c/o Sant'Andrea Hospital”, Via di Grottarossa, Rome, Italy

2Paediatric Department, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy

Corresponding author: Pasquale Parisi, MD, PhD, ;

Citation Information: Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism. Volume 23, Issue 11, Pages 1133–1141, ISSN (Online) 2191-0251, ISSN (Print) 0334-018X, DOI: 10.1515/jpem.2010.178, December 2010

Publication History

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Overweight and obesity may be associated with cognitive problems and both may share “neuroendocrinobiological roots” in common cerebral areas. We investigated intellectual performances and a possible “specific cognitive profile” in overweight/obese children. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 898 school children (6 to 13 years) attending primary schools. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-revised (WISC-R) revealed significant differences in performance intelligence quotient (PIQ) scores between body mass index (BMI) subgroups (p<0.01). Regression analysis identified BMI as the only variable significantly related to PIQ (p<0.05). Gender (p<0.05) and parental educational score (p<0.001) were significantly related to verbal intelligence quotient (VIQ). Parental educational score was the only factor significantly related to total intelligence quotient (TIQ) (p<0.05). Parental education seems to play a major role in TIQ and VIQ; a lower PIQ score is clearly related to a higher BMI. A routine neurocognitive assessment in overweight/ obese children is recommended.

Finally, we have added some reflections on common neuroendocrinobiological roots.

KEY WORDS: overweight; obesity; cognitive profile; intellectual performance; psychometric tests; body mass index

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