The goal of the proposed research is the study of the biology, and particularly the behavioral genetics of obesity. The guiding theme is that obesity provides an ideal model system for the study of gene-environment interactions. This theme will be studied by a variety of approaches. A major effort will be invested in further exploitation of our Danish Adoption Study data, including the analysis of data already collected on siblings and half-siblings, a path analysis of the entire data set, a preliminary analysis of major gene involvement by mans of commingling analysis and a study of the childhood weight patterns of the adoptees. A second major effort will be devoted to studying weight changes in depressed people, seeking increased understanding of both obesity and depression. A large-scale family study in Argentina will attempt to define the risk of obesity of first degree relatives of obese persons. Another study will assess the value of body fat distribution in predicting the occurrence of gestational diabetes. We will also attempt to follow up a group of English children of normal weight who had been identified ten years ago as being at high and low risk for obesity. One study will assess the effects of a gastric """"""""Bubble"""""""" (balloon) on the regulation of body weight, uncontaminated by the behavioral treatment programs that are usually required to be associated with this intervention.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Health Behavior and Prevention Review Committee (HBPR)
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University of Pennsylvania
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Berkowitz, Robert I; Stallings, Virginia A; Maislin, Greg et al. (2005) Growth of children at high risk of obesity during the first 6 y of life: implications for prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 81:140-6
Stunkard, A J; Berkowitz, R I; Schoeller, D et al. (2004) Predictors of body size in the first 2 y of life: a high-risk study of human obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 28:503-13
Stunkard, A J; Berkowitz, R I; Stallings, V A et al. (1999) Weights of parents and infants: is there a relationship? Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 23:159-62
Waterland, R A; Berkowitz, R I; Stunkard, A J et al. (1998) Calibrated-orifice nipples for measurement of infant nutritive sucking. J Pediatr 132:523-6
Sorensen, T I; Holst, C; Stunkard, A J (1998) Adoption study of environmental modifications of the genetic influences on obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 22:73-81
Sorensen, T I; Stunkard, A J (1993) Does obesity run in families because of genes? An adoption study using silhouettes as a measure of obesity. Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl 370:67-72
Sorensen, T I; Holst, C; Stunkard, A J et al. (1992) Correlations of body mass index of adult adoptees and their biological and adoptive relatives. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 16:227-36
Sorensen, T I; Holst, C; Stunkard, A J (1992) Childhood body mass index--genetic and familial environmental influences assessed in a longitudinal adoption study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 16:705-14
Stunkard, A J; Fernstrom, M H; Price, R A et al. (1991) Weight change in depression: influence of ""disinhibition"" is mediated by body mass and other variables. Psychiatry Res 38:197-200
Stunkard, A J; Fernstrom, M H; Price, A et al. (1990) Direction of weight change in recurrent depression. Consistency across episodes. Arch Gen Psychiatry 47:857-60

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