How Does Dopamine Affect Your Eating and Body Weight?
Research study to understand how dopamine varies in people who have varying levels of body fat.
Bethesda, MD
Compensation Provided
Any Bodyweight
(Up to 400lbs)
Non-smokers
18 - 45 Years Old
Fast Facts
About this research study:
The objective of the study is to better understand how brain function, particularly dopamine activity, relates to body weight and eating behavior.
Dopamine is a natural chemical in the brain that may influence eating behavior and physical activity. Researchers want to measure the brain's dopamine activity and understand how it differs in people with obesity.
Additional Information
Why is this study being done?
Dopamine is a natural chemical in the brain that may influence a person's eating habits and physical activity. The objective of the study is to better understand how brain function, particularly dopamine activity, relates to body weight and eating behavior.

Researchers at the NIH are aiming to measure the brain's dopamine activity and understand how it differs in people with obesity.
Is this study for me?
You may be eligible if you:
  • Are a non-smoking 18-45 year old
  • Have a BMI of at least 18.5 kg/m2 (to calculate your BMI, go to http://go.usa.gov/xP3Sf)
  • Are generally healthy and have not gained or lost weight recently
  • Can visit the NIH Clinical Center for 5 consecutive days to pick up food followed by a 5-day inpatient testing
What will happen if I participate in the study?
Study participants will:
• Have a screening visit to include medical history, physical exam, blood/urine tests
• Eat a special diet, provided by the study, for 5 days
• Have a 5-day inpatient visit for blood and urine tests, MRI/PET scans, and tests to measure metabolism
• Track their daily weight and physical activity for 12 months following the inpatient stay
• Have a 1-day follow-up visit
Will I be paid for being in this research study?
Compensation is provided for participation in this study.
Will it cost me anything to participate in this study?
There will be no cost to you to participate in the study.