PROVIDENCE, RI The Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center (WCDRC) recently received six research grants from the National Institutes of Health totaling more than $12 million in funding that will support the work of researchers focused on the prevention and treatment of obesity.
Rena R. Wing, PhD, director of the WCDRC and a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is the principal investigator on these grants.
Funding for three of the grants was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), including a highly competitive NIH Challenge Grant. Only 200 NIH Challenge Grants were awarded to researchers nationwide out of approximately 20,000 applications.
"Obesity continues to be the number one health risk facing Americans, and the health consequences and financial burden of this epidemic are devastating," Wing said. "We are grateful for the support our team has received, which will help strengthen and build on our research programs to develop and study innovative obesity prevention and treatment strategies."
The largest grant nearly $6 million over five years was awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to compare two behavioral interventions to prevent weight gain in young adults. According to Wing, young adults experience the greatest rate of weight gain approximately one to two pounds per year putting them at increased risk for weight-related health problems, such as heart disease.
"We know it gets harder to lose the weight as you get older, so preventing weight gain during young adulthood is critical to curbing the obesity epidemic," added Wing.
The goal of Wing's two-year, $930,320 NIH challenge grant, also funded through NHLBI, is to develop and test an innovative Internet-based program to improve patient adherence to behavioral weight loss regimens. Based on th
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