Why do some people become obese while others stay lean? We propose that individuals differ in appetite-related traits (e.g. food cue responsiveness, satiety sensitivity) that manifest early in life, show genetic influence, and interact with environmental factors (e.g. family feeding practices) to predict eating behaviors and weight trajectories.
To understand more about the character and origins of these traits and their interplay with environmental factors, my lab utilizes a range of methods including behavioral tests, questionnaires, genotyping, and neuroimaging techniques (e.g. fMRI). We are currently using all of these tools to investigate the biobehavioral correlates of familial and genetic risk for obesity in lean and obese adolescents and children. Related projects include studies of eating disorders, stress-related eating, and circadian and hormonal influences on appetite.
I also have an interest in shared etiological factors between obesity and other behaviors and disorders (e.g. impulsivity, self-regulation, ADHD), anti-psychotic induced weight gain, neuroendocrine factors in bariatric surgery, and translating research on biobehavioral risk for obesity into practical intervention strategies and advice for the public.
1 - Carnell S, Benson L, Pryor K & Driggin E (2013) Appetitive traits from infancy to adolescence: Using behavioral and neural measures to investigate obesity risk. Physiology & Behavior, Epub Feb 28.
2 - Carnell S, Kim Y & Pryor K (2012) Fat brains, greedy genes and parent power: a biobehavioural risk model of child and adult obesity. International Review of Psychiatry, 24, 189-199.
3 - Carnell S, Gibson C, Benson L, Ochner C & Geliebter A (2012) Neuroimaging and obesity: current knowledge and future directions. Obesity Reviews, 13, 43-56.
4 - Geliebter A, Carnell S & Gluck ME (2012) Cortisol and ghrelin concentrations following a cold pressor test in overweight individuals with and without Night Eating. International Journal of Obesity, Epub Dec 18.
5 - Carnell S, Cooke L, Cheng R, Robbins A & Wardle J (2011) Parental feeding behaviours and motivations: a qualitative study in mothers of UK 3-5 y olds. Appetite, 57, 665-673.
6 - Llewellyn CH, van Jaarsveld CHM, Johnson L, CarnellS & Wardle J (2011) Development and factor structure of the Baby Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Appetite, 57, 388-396.
7 - Ochner C, Pantazatos S, Kwok Y, Conceicao E, Puma LM, Carnell S, Texeira J, Hirsch J & Geliebter A (2011) Selective reduction in neural responses to high-calorie foods following gastric bypass surgery. Annals of Surgery, 253, 502-507.
8 - Llewellyn C, van Jaarsveld CHM, Johnson L, Carnell S & Wardle J (2010) Nature and nurture in infant appetite. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91, 1172-1179.
9 - Gibson C, Carnell S, Ochner C & Geliebter A (2010) Neuroimaging, gut peptides and obesity: novel studies of the neurobiology of appetite. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 22, 833-845. PMID: 20553371
10 - Carnell S, Haworth CMA, Plomin R & Wardle J (2008) Genetic influence on appetite in children. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 1468-1473.
11 - Carnell S & Wardle J (2008) Appetite and adiposity in children: evidence for a behavioral susceptibility model of obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88, 22-29.
12 - Carnell S & Wardle J (2007) Measuring behavioural susceptibility to obesity: validation of the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire. Appetite, 48, 104-113.
13 - Carnell S & Wardle J (2007) Associations between multiple measures of parental feeding and children’s adiposity in United Kingdom preschoolers. Obesity, 15, 137-144.
14 - Carnell S, Edwards C, Croker H, Boniface D & Wardle J (2005) Parental perceptions of overweight in UK 3-5 year olds. International Journal of Obesity, 29,353-355.
15 - Wardle J, Carnell S & Cooke L (2005) Parental control over feeding and fruit and vegetable consumption: how are they related? Journal of American Dietetic Association, 105,227-232.
We are conducting a research study in adolescents (14-18 y old) and their biological mothers. The study involves three visits for 3-3.5 hours each, and includes fMRI scan (adolescent only), body composition measurements (height, weight, waist), questionnaires, computer tasks, liquid and buffet meals, and saliva collection. Compensation is up to $245, plus $10 travel costs for each visit. If interested, please call 410-955-5099 or email email@example.com.