We work primarily with intervention studies, where a group of participants complete one or more treatments over a short or long study period. The participants are monitored before, during and after the intervention periods, and we record a number of anthropometric measures (e.g. weight, height, percentage body fat). Blood and tissue samples are taken for analysis of various substances that can be related to risks of disorders such as cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes, e.g. glucose concentration, insulin and cholesterol in the blood. The aim of these intervention studies is to improve our understanding of the following areas of interest:
Genetic and environmental factors that give rise to overweight and obesity, with particular focus on diet composition.
Genetic and environmental causes of variations in appetite and energy metabolism, and their interaction with macro and micro nutrients, and with bioactive food components.
Physiological determinants of appetite and energy metabolism. The investigation of recently recognised genes and signal molecules of importance in human energy metabolism.
The effect of diet composition on weight loss and weight maintenance in obese individuals, with particular focus on macro and micro nutrients, and the importance of risk factors for complications, particularly type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Development of improved programmes of prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity using changes in diet, sensory factors, dietary supplementation, functional foods, herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals.