TBM Project Welcome
The current treatments for obesity are successful, but only moderately and in the short term. Improving executive functioning may be an answer to the question “why is it still so difficult for obese youngsters to lose weight and to control it on a long term?”
Executive functioning is an umbrella term to represent brain processes that allow people to control themselves. This process can be crucial in the origins and maintenance of obesity.
Obese youngsters often have more difficulty with self-control when confronted with unhealthy temptations. More specifically, they seem to have an inhibition and attention bias. Inhibition is the capacity to suppress the impulsive urge to react, in this case when tempted towards unhealthy food (i.e., not grasping food when seeing hamburger advertisements). Next, they also seem to have attentional biases. Attention is the capacity to (re)direct focus, in this case away from unhealthy food (i.e., not thinking about eating when seeing hamburger advertisements). Obese children and adults with obesity, in comparison to normal-weight persons, have more inhibition and attention problems, and are more impulsive and distracted when confronted with those temptations. There is a lot of evidence to support this.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence for youngsters, and these insights are not used in current treatment.
The aim of the TBM project Welcome is to find out whether executive function training results in better weight control and less illness.
Here you can find links to some of our posters: