Longitudinal relationship of baseline functional brain networks with intentional weight loss in older adults

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2022 Apr;30(4):902-910. doi: 10.1002/oby.23396.


Objective: The goal of this study was to determine whether the degree of weight loss after 6 months of a behavior-based intervention is related to baseline connectivity within two functional networks (FNs) of interest, FN1 and FN2, in a group of older adults with obesity.

Methods: Baseline functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected following an overnight fast in 71 older adults with obesity involved in a weight-loss intervention. Functional brain networks in a resting state and during a food-cue task were analyzed using a mixed-regression framework to examine the relationships between baseline networks and 6-month change in weight.

Results: During the resting condition, the relationship of baseline brain functional connectivity and network clustering in FN1, which includes the visual cortex and sensorimotor areas, was significantly associated with 6-month weight loss. During the food-cue condition, 6-month weight loss was significantly associated with the relationship between baseline brain connectivity and network global efficiency in FN2, which includes executive control, attention, and limbic regions.

Conclusion: These findings provide further insight into complex functional circuits in the brain related to successful weight loss and may ultimately aid in developing tailored behavior-based treatment regimens that target specific brain circuitry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Mapping
  • Brain* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Rest
  • Weight Loss*