The NICHD conducts and supports a variety of clinical research related to obesity, overweight, and body composition. Select a link below to learn more about these projects.
Featured NICHD Clinical Trials
Health Behavior in School-Age Children: NEXT Longitudinal Study 2009-2013
NEXT is a 4-year longitudinal assessment of a representative sample of U.S. schoolchildren starting at grade 10. The goals of the U.S. NEXT longitudinal study include the following: identify the trajectory of adolescent health status and health behaviors from mid-adolescent through the post high school year; examine individual predictors of the onset of key adolescent risk behaviors and risk indicators during this period, including those that lead to obesity; identify family, school, and social/environment factors that promote or sustain positive health behaviors; and identify transition points in health risk and risk behaviors and changes in family, school, and social/environment precursors to the set transitions.
Preventing Excessive Weight Gain in Adolescent Girls at High-Risk for Adult Obesity
This study will examine whether interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) can help reduce excessive weight gain in adolescent girls. It will compare the effectiveness of IPT with a teen health education program in preventing weight gain.
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Obesity and Brain Function
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and MC4R genetic mutations are two conditions that can cause problems with appetite regulation. People with PWS often have behavior and thinking problems. People with MC4R mutations may have problems with attention. These problems may be related to brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that is important for brain development. Researchers want to study people with PWS and MC4R mutations to see how BDNF is involved in these conditions. Specifically, body weight and brain function will be studied, and compared with healthy volunteers.
Mifepristone for Metabolic Syndrome
The long-term aim of this clinical trial is to evaluate the ability of mifepristone to reverse or improve glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and weight gain. An initial 7-day study is proposed here to look at the effect of short-term administration of oral mifepristone or placebo on glucose intolerance.
Eating Behavior in Adolescents
Little is known about the eating behaviors that place adolescents at heightened risk for overweight. In the proposed study, researchers will investigate the role that eating behaviors and genes may play in the development of overweight.
Characteristics of Prader-Willi Syndrome and Early-onset Morbid Obesity
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical features and genetic basis of PWS and early-onset morbid obesity and to determine how these conditions affect people throughout their lifetimes.
Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Clindamycin in Pediatric Subjects With BMI = 85th Percentile (CLIN01)
The purpose of this study is to better understand how clindamycin works in children who fall in the 85th percentile or higher for body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight to height. The results of the study will help better understand if children in higher BMI ranges process the medication differently and whether dosing should be adjusted in these children.
Free Fatty Acids, Body Weight, and Growth Hormones Secretion in Children
Overweight and obese children and adults often have lower levels of growth hormone in the blood. Regulation of growth hormone may be tied to weight and free fatty acids in the blood. Current tests of growth hormone (such as those used when evaluating the heights of children who are markedly shorter than other children of comparable age) may be affected by other factors, including obesity. Researchers are interested in evaluating the levels of growth hormone and free fatty acids in the blood of children between 7 and 14 years of age who weigh more than children of a comparable age or who are shorter than other children of a comparable age and have been recommended for growth hormone testing as part of an evaluation for their height.
Fat Metabolism and Melanocortin 3 Receptors in African Americans
Melanocortin receptors are proteins in the body that help send messages between body systems. One such receptor, the melanocortin 3 receptor (MC3R), is important for regulating body weight. Differences in MC3R can affect fat metabolism, or how the body handles fat. Some people who have changes in the MC3R genetic code are heavier than those who do not have these changes. These changes are found more often in African Americans. Researchers want to study the MC3R in African American adults to see how these changes may affect fat metabolism. They will look at overweight adults with either the most common genetic code for the MC3R or a rare variant.
Pilot Program for Targeted Prevention of Child or Adolescent Weight Gain
This study will examine whether family-based interpersonal psychotherapy (FB-IPT) is an effective tool for helping pre-adolescent girls and boys at risk for becoming obese to reduce weight gain. IPT is a time-limited group therapy for preventing and treating depression in children. It is also effective for treating binge eating disorder in adults and has resulted in weight maintenance or modest weight loss in obese adults. IPT focuses on improving how people relate to one another by relating symptoms to personal problem areas and then developing strategies for dealing with these problems.
Effects of Interrupting Sedentary Behavior on Metabolic and Cognitive Outcomes in Children
Some studies in adults have found that insulin and glucose blood levels are lower when a long period of sitting is broken up with walking, compared to sitting without breaks. This means that the body can better process sugars when there are walking breaks during the day. Researchers want to know if this is also true for children. Some studies have found that children's attention and memory might be better after exercise. Researchers want to know if short walking breaks have the same effects.
Addressing Health Literacy and Numeracy to Prevent Childhood Obesity (GreenLight)
Over 26% of preschool children are now overweight or obese, and children who are overweight by age 24 months are five times as likely as non-overweight children to become overweight adolescents. The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of a low-literacy/numeracy-oriented intervention aimed at teaching pediatric resident physicians to promote healthy family lifestyles and prevent overweight among young children (age 0 to 2) and their families in under-resourced communities.
NICHD Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov Search Results
Information on current NIH-sponsored clinical trials on obesity, overweight, and body composition is available at the link below or by calling 1-800-411-1222.