Framingham State University seeks participants for food study

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By Janice Elizabeth Berte, Contributing Writer

Region – Do you struggle with your weight? Have you been on endless diets throughout your life, losing weight only to gain it back?

You may be interested in joining an exciting research study underway at Framingham State University (FSU). Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital have partnered with FSU, Sodexo, and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School (AVRTHS) to conduct a nine-month diet study, known as the Framingham State Food Study. This extensive study compares what happens when individuals follow one of three – low, moderate, or high-carbohydrate – diets and will shed light on whether one diet is better than another for keeping weight off.

The Nutrition Science Initiative is the primary funder of this study, conducted under the leadership of principal investigators David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, and Cara B. Ebbeling, PhD, from Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Our collaboration with Framingham State University, Sodexo, and Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School is novel and has been enjoyable,” Ebbeling said. “We would not be able to do this study without these exceptional partners.”

Participants in the third and final part of the study will start in early August and continue into May. Both males and females, between the ages of 18 and 65 years, may be eligible to participate in the study. Study protocols require that participants eat only provided foods and not consume alcohol.

As part of the screening process, the research team requests medical clearance from a primary care doctor, measures body mass index and blood pressure, and obtains a fasting blood sample. Study outcomes are measured four times during the study.

If eligible, participants will be given three freshly prepared meals and one snack per day. For examples of meals, go to www.fs2foodstudy.org. Participants will be asked to eat one meal on site and pick up other meals and snacks daily, Monday through Friday (and possibly on weekends), at FSU or AVRTHS. The goal is to lose 12 percent of initial body weight during the first three months in the study and then to maintain weight loss for the remainder of the study. Dietitians/Nutritionists are available to provide support and encouragement for adhering to the diets.

There is no cost for participants to join this study. Participants will be compensated for their time and meals. Payments will be made at eight different time points throughout the study. The study meals and snacks are valued at over $3,000, and the stipend is over $3,000, for a maximum total value of approximately $6,500. Each participant will have an identification number, and results of all tests and other personal information will be kept confidential.

To find out more, call 617-919-7305, email [email protected], or visit www.fs2foodstudy.org.