Neural Mechanisms of Food Decision-Making in Children.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The goal of the current paper is to review the literature on the neural and behavioral factors involved in food decision-making in youth.
RECENT FINDINGS: Recent neuroimaging studies that employ passive viewing paradigms have found that exposure to food-related cues activate reward, motor planning, and attentional salience signals in children. Greater activations of reward signals and/or lower activations of control signals are associated with overeating and weight gain. Neuroimaging studies with decision-making paradigms have found the reward network in the brain activates during food choices, while control network activates less strongly. Findings suggest that exposure to food cues activates reward/valuation network, but activation of control network tends to be relatively weaker in children. Hedonic aspects of foods are predominantly considered in children's food choices, and their dietary self-control is not matured yet. The increased activation in reward network and the decreased activation in control network are associated with risk of developing obesity.
Curr Nutr Rep
Brain development; Children; Food decisions; Self-control; Value-based decision-making; fMRI
Ha OR, Lim SL, Bruce AS. Neural Mechanisms of Food Decision-Making in Children. Curr Nutr Rep. 2020;9(3):236-250. doi:10.1007/s13668-020-00321-5