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Evaluation of impact of lunch on cognition in healthy working individuals using Stroop test

Mohita Singh, Navneet Kumar Kaushik, Neelu Panghal.

Abstract
Background: Cognition refers to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. It represents a complex, multidimensional set of abilities. Various factors affect cognitive performance with meals being one of the important one.

Aim and Objective: This study was aimed to evaluate the pre-lunch and post-lunch cognition levels in healthy working individuals using Stroop test.

Materials and Methods: Eighty healthy individuals of either sex in the age range 1860 years were recruited. The study had a quasi-experimental before-after design. All the study participants were screened for cognitive impairment using mini-mental state examination. Those without any cognitive impairment were administered Stroop test (congruent and incongruent) before and after consumption of afternoon meals which was presumably of mixed nature. Paired t-test was used for analyzing the acquired data with significance set to 5%.

Results: A statistically significant reduction in time taken to complete the test and increment in number of correct responses under both conditions (congruent and incongruent) of Stroop test was seen after consumption of afternoon meals.

Conclusion: It can be reasonably deduced from the observations of this study that cognitive performance, especially executive functioning as evaluated by Stroop test, improves following consumption of lunch. Therefore, proper lunch in terms of size and composition should be consumed by working individuals to facilitate their work output.

Key words: Cognition; Comprehension; Meals; Stroop Test



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