Relationship between obesity and verbal memory performance among top academic achievers in Singapore
Wong, P., Boh, G. B. T., Wang, J. C. K., & Chia, M. (2007). Relationship between obesity and verbal memory performance among top academic achievers in Singapore. Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science, 4(1), 47-55.
This study aimed to determine verbal memory performance differences between obese and normal-weight adolescents among high academic achievers as measured by a computerised version of Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. 58 normalweight and 47 obese adolescents were recruited from two Secondary Schools (aged 13 to 16 years) and one Junior College (aged 17 to 18 years) in Singapore. Eight trials of word recall and memory test scores, the sum of total number of words correctly recalled for Trials 1 to 5 [Total Learning (TL)], and difference in word recall between Trial 5 and Trial 1 [Learning Rate (LR)] were measured. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured by the summative ranking of the housing category and the educational levels of the parents. Obese participants recalled significantly lesser words in all trials and TL memory category. There was no significant difference between normal-weight and obese participants on the indicators of housing category, father’s education, mother’s education, overall SES, and LR memory category. Obese adolescents had poorer verbal memory performance as compared to the normal-weight participants. The role of SES could not adequately account for the memory difference between both groups. This finding suggested difficulty in memory acquisition and retrieval ability in the obese group.