How Does Your Child Think About Food?
This study seeks to explore how the brain affects eating behavior in children over time.
Baltimore, MD
Compensation Provided
Brain Effects on Appetite and Metabolism
Healthy Children, no Allergies
9 - 11 Years Old
Fast Facts
About this research study:
This study seeks to explore how the brain affects eating behavior in children over time.
We are hoping to learn more about differences in brain structure and function in children and if these differences affect body weight and the control of food intake over time

We are looking for healthy kids ages 9-11 years old that do not have a history of any chronic diseases, eating disorders, or cognitive disorders, have no food allergies or dietary restrictions, not currently taking medications known to alter appetite, body weight, or brain response, and have no MRI contraindications.
Additional Information
What is the time commitment for parents and children participating in the study?
This is a multi-site study, meaning it will take place at 2 locations (Baltimore, MD and Seattle, WA). We will be recruiting about 50 children at each site. Our study involves 3 in-person study visits to Johns Hopkins Hospital spread out over 12 months. The initial visit will be a remote or in-person screening visit to gather some information and confirm eligibility to join our study. If the child is eligible, the child and a parent will be invited to come in for Study Visit 1. Study Visit 2 will be 6 months after Visit 1, and the final visit (Study Visit 3) will take place 6 months after that.
What should parents and participating children expect at clinic visit?
Some study activities involve getting a blood draw, MRIs, meals throughout the day, urine collections, questionnaires, and body measurements. Study Visit 1 will begin with a fasted blood draw, followed by body measurements, questionnaires, 2 MRI scans, and meals throughout the day. Study visit 2 and 3 will consist of body measurements, urine collection, and questionnaires, with Visit 3 also inclusing 1 MRI. All study visits will last a couple of hours, except for Study Visit 1 which is expected to last about 5 hours.

For reference, see study details below:
Principal Investigator: Susan Carnell, PhD
JHM eIRB: IRB00210835

Are there any risks to children participating in the study?
There may be some risks of participating in our study. There will be one blood draw and that may cause brief pain or dizziness in some participants. Completing some of our questionnaires may provoke anxiety or embarrassment in some participants. Some participants may not like the taste of the meal that we provide, and if a participant has any previously undiagnosed or undetected food or beverage related allergies, they may feel ill after consuming the meal that we provide. The risks associated with getting an MRI are very low, and there are no known physical side effects or risks from MRI procedures; however, participants may feel discomfort from laying still and the loud noises caused by the MRI machine or may get claustrophobic or anxious in the MRI machine. To keep our participants and study staff safe during COVID-19 pandemic, we have minimized the study's amount of in-person contact as much as possible.