Why is this study being done?

Obesity is a major problem in our society resulting in many health conditions. Chronic stress induces behavioral and biological changes leading to obesity. African Americans and Hispanics experience high stress levels in our society which may partly explain ethnic differences in obesity-related health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

We are studying the effects of stress on diet, activity and hormone patterns in African-American, Caucasian and Hispanic adolescent females. With a better understanding of how stress affects behavioral and biological changes related to obesity, we will advocate for public policy changes to address social and biological stress in addition to nutrition and exercise (currently the primary focus in schools). We can also develop more effective treatments for obesity-related problems.

What does this study involve?

This study involves 3 in-person visits and 1 home visit and participants can receive up to $420 for their time and effort, as well as compensation for mileage to/from study visits.

  • Visit 1 (about 4 hours):  Teens and parents/guardians participate in interviews and questionnaires.  Teens are also asked to provide a small blood sample by finger prick.
  • Visit 2 (home visit):  Teens will wear a watch-like device on their wrist for 1 week which will record their activity.  They will also be asked to collect saliva samples for 2 days at home and participate in phone interviews about their sleeping, eating, and activity patterns.
  • Visits 3 & 4 (about 5 hours each): Teens will be given breakfast and then asked to relax and watch pre-approved movies, etc. for about 2.5 hours.  They will then participate in a 15-minute task (either relaxation or presentation), collect some saliva samples, and be given a buffet lunch.  At one of these visits, teens will also provide a blood sample, a small hair sample, and participate in a scan that measures body composition.

Are we eligible to participate?

We are recruiting girls ages 13 – 17 who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latina, or White/Caucasian, and their parent or legal guardian.

To find out if you are eligible to participate, please call or text us at (949) 445-6254, or click the button below to request a call, text, or email from a study coordinator!

Check out our recruitment flyers below, and share them with your friends!


Need directions to your Food Experiment Visit at the UCI Medical Center ICTS Office?  Click here!