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Why do some people develop obesity while others remain lean? students eating snacks at school

We propose that individuals differ in appetite-related characteristics that manifest early in life, show genetic influence, and interact with environmental factors (e.g. family feeding practices) to predict eating behavior and weight.

To understand more about these characteristics, we use a range of methods including behavioral tests, parent- and self-report questionnaires (e.g. CEBQ, BEBQ), genotyping, hormonal assays, and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, MRI, PET).

Ongoing projects include investigations of appetite and body weight in infants, children, adolescents and adults, including studies of eating behavior in anorexia nervosa, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and individuals undergoing bariatric surgery.

The Appetite Lab


The Appetite Lab and Alums

  • Kudos to Appetite Lab post-doc Elena Jansen for publishing her latest paper on mothers’ and fathers’ structure-related food parenting practices and child eating behaviors during the COVID pandemic!

  • Kudos to Appetite Lab post-doc Elena Jansen for winning a Johns Hopkins Postdoctoral Research Accelerator award for her project to characterize father-child feeding interactions during and before the COVID pandemic, and examine their relationships with child eating behaviors and overweight!

  • Kudos to Appetite Lab post-doc Gita Thapaliya for having her abstract on differences in brain structure in children with the FTO obesity risk allele accepted as a poster for the 54th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology!
  • Kudos to Appetite Lab student Sayo for being accepted into the JH Bloomberg School of Public Health masters program in Health Policy!
  • Kudos to Appetite lab student intern Daisy Zhou for winning a Summer PURA (Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award) to study the role of the cerebellum in emotional eating!
  • Kudos to first author Andre Portella and our other collaborators at McGill for having our paper on effects of DRD4 expression in the prefrontal cortex on neural responses to food cues in adolescent girls and boys accepted by Scientific Reports!
  • Kudos to former lab members Cece Gu and Sarah Warkentin and current post-doc Elena Jansen for having our paper on effects of acculturation on parent feeding style and parenting style accepted by Appetite!
  • Kudos to Appetite Lab post-doc Jenny Sadler and other authors for having our paper ‘Is obesity in the brain…’ accepted by Pediatric Obesity!

Call for Research Volunteers


Contact the Appetite Lab Team

600 N. Wolfe Street 
Phipps 300 
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-955-7192
Fax: 410-614-3676

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