UCLA researchers seek overweight adolescents, ages 13-19, for a study about the impact of food cravings on their ability to lose weight.
Researchers are studying food cravings in teenagers to see if there is a specific gene associated with food addiction. A better understanding of the genetics of food cravings and related eating habits may lead to ways to help people more effectively lose weight.
"Obesity is a major public health issue in the United States and many diseases including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and non-alcoholic fatty liver could be prevented if we had better strategies to decrease obesity rates," said study researcher Dr. Joanna Yeh, Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellow, in the Department of Pediatrics, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA.
The study will be conducted at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. During the first visit, participants will complete a questionnaire, have height and weight taken and a blood sample drawn for genetic analysis. Volunteers will also have their percent body fat, lean body mass, and basal metabolic rate measured. Volunteers will be observed eating in a laboratory setting as well.
"We hope that this study may help pave the way for future research into treating food addiction," said study investigator, Dr. Zhaoping Li, professor of clinical medicine and associate director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.
The study is funded by funds from the UCLA Department of Medicine, Center for Human Nutrition.
For more information, please call the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition at 310-206-8292.