Relationship Between Dopamine Genetics, Food Reinforcement, Energy Intake and Obesity
The purpose of the study is to determine whether the presentation of various foods produces an increase or decrease in responses on a motivational computer task. In addition, the study determines if energy intake or motivation to obtain food is related to the dopamine receptor genotype.
|Study Design:||Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional|
|Official Title:||Food Reinforcement Genotype Interactions and Eating|
Saliva DNA samples will be collected from all participants
|Study Start Date:||February 2008|
|Study Completion Date:||June 2011|
|Primary Completion Date:||June 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
One of the most important research areas in obesity is developing a better understanding of individual differences in factors that influence excess energy intake and positive energy balance. One key to understanding these individual differences is determining what factors underlie the motivation to eat. We have demonstrated in a series of studies that obese adults and children are more motivated to work for palatable, favorite foods than leaner peers and that those high in food reinforcement consume more food in an ad libitum eating task than those who do not find food as reinforcing. Dopamine (DA) is one of the major neurotransmitters involved in establishing the reinforcing value of food, and low levels of dopamine activity and a reduction in the number of DA receptors is associated with obesity. The general aim of the proposed research is to build upon this research to examine relationships between food reinforcement, obesity, and polymorphisms of genes within the dopaminergic system.