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Can Movement Games Enhance Executive Function in Overweight Children? A Randomized Controlled Trial

Chien-Chih Chou, Kuan-Chou Chen, Mei-Yao Huang, Hsin-Yu Tu, and Chung-Ju Huang

Purpose: This study determines the effect of movement games on executive function among overweight children. Methods: Forty-four overweight children received an intervention of movement games, and 40 overweight children participated in original physical education lessons. An intervention of movement games was conducted three times a week for 8 consecutive weeks. Neuropsychological tasks and the Stroop and determination tests were assessed pre- and postintervention. Results: The results indicated that movement games enhanced the children’s performance in the inhibitory control and attentional function, particularly in the interference tendency condition, whereas no performance improvement was noted in the original physical education lessons. Conclusion: The findings indicate that movement games can be utilized as a useful intervention for improving the attentional and inhibitory problems of overweight children. School authorities should consider incorporating these activities into programs related to physical and health education.