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Current Projects

Weight History, Brain Activation to Food Cues and Eating Disorder Pathology

Project Type: Grant funded

Project Description:

Weight history, which consists of premorbid body mass, the discrepancy between highest ever and current body weight (weight suppression) and current BMI and abnormal activation in brain reward and inhibitory areas appear to be related to ED psychopathology. Yet, little is known about how these abnormal patterns contribute to ED psychopathology. This study examines fMRI-assessed brain reward and inhibitory areas and weight history variables to predict, cross-sectionally and prospectively, ED psychopathology. The project will recruit 96 ED individuals. Participants will undergo structural and functional MRI and will return for 3 and 6-month follow-ups to assess eating disorder symptoms and weight.

To see if you are eligible for this study, please email dueatingdisorders@gmail.com or call 215.553.7171.

Project Began: Spring 2014

Anticipated End Date: Spring 2019

Weight Supression, Dieting, and Bulimia Nervosa: A Biobehavioral Study

Project Type: Grant funded

Project Description:

Psychosocial models of bulimia nervosa (BN) emphasize the role of dieting as a proximal cause of binge eating and purging. Diet-induced long-term energy imbalance (weight suppression, or the difference between one's highest-ever body weight and current weight) can be differentiated from a short-term energy imbalance (current dieting to either lose weight or avoid weight gain). This study examines biological and behavioral (e.g., binge eating and purging) correlates of weight suppression and current dieting in those with BN. The project will recruit 132 women (66 at Drexel University and 66 at Columbia University) meeting DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for BN. Participants will complete 14 days of ecological momentary assessment as well as measures of food consumption, resting energy expenditure, and metabolic and appetitive hormones. Participants will return for a 6-month follow-up visit to assess eating disorder symptoms and weight.

To see if you are eligible for this study, please email dueatingdisorders@gmail.com or call 215.553.7171.

Project Began: Spring 2012

Anticipated End Date: Spring 2017

ENACT

Project Type: Grant funded

Project Description:

This study compares 3 different treatments focused on weight loss and weight loss maintenance in overweight adults. Participants are randomly assigned to one of three conditions, all of which are designed to help participants lose weight and keep it off long-term. The treatments vary in terms of how much they emphasize different skills that help people to lose weight. Over the course of the one-year intervention, participants attend weekly group-based sessions for 4 months, bi-weekly sessions for the next 2 months, and monthly sessions for the last 6 months. They then attend follow-up assessments at 6 and12 months post-treatment. Analyses will test whether there are any differences between the three conditions in degree of weight loss maintenance obtained over the follow-up period.

Project Began: Fall 2011

Anticipated End Date: Spring 2016