Miriam Hospital recruiting children to study emotions, brain functioning

March 31, 2017

The Miriam Hospital is recruiting normal-weight and overweight children, ages 10 to 17 for a research study aimed at understanding how they regulate their emotions and if that’s related to their weight or eating behavior. The findings may help researchers create more effective interventions for children struggling with eating and weight.

Study participation involves two, two-hour clinic visits during which height and weight will be measured and participants will complete questionnaires and an interview. Participants will also be asked to view pictures while undergoing an MRI scan. Participants cannot have serious medical conditions resulting in appetite or weight changes or be taking medications that affect appetite or weight, or have a current or past diagnosis of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

“This study will provide important analysis on eating behaviors among overweight kids that can be used to develop new ways to help kids whose emotions directly impact their eating and weight,” said Caroline West, research coordinator with the Weight Control & Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital.

Study participants may be eligible if they are:

  • Between the ages of 10 and 17 years old;
  • Able to read and understand English fluently;
  • Not currently pregnant;
  • Willing and able to undergo a one-hour MRI scan

According to research published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, up to 30% of children and adolescents with obesity struggle with binge eating. Negative emotions are a common trigger for binge eating, especially when kids don’t have other coping skills for dealing with low mood.

The study will take place at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center and Brown University, and recruitment is ongoing. Participants will receive compensation for each study visit.

For more information on the study, or to find out if you qualify, please contact Caroline at 401-793-8283 or caroline.west@lifespan.org.

Media Contact

Elena Falcone-Relvas

Bradley Hospital & Hasbro Children's Hospital