Food Reward in Native American Women

What is the Study about?

Obesity has emerged as the dominant public health problem of the 21st century and is now epidemic among women. American Indians suffer disproportionately from obesity. This study will look at brain activity of American Indian women through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) when they look at different kinds of food photographs. The purpose of this study is to see what happens in the reward centers of the brain when women look at different type of visual food cues. We will also examine the ability of medication (naltrexone) to suppress brain response to visual food cues. This is the first study using fMRI and an opioid and is the first study of this kind focusing specifically on American Indian women. The results will provide important data that will inform dietary interventions aimed at preventing and treating obesity. This study may also identify a promising pharmacologic treatment of obesity and overeating.

Eligibility to participate

You may be eligible for the Study if you:

  • Are female
  • A self-identified American Indian
  • Are obese (BMI over 30) OR lean (BMI between 20 and 24.9)

This study is currently following participants.

What is involved in the Study?

  • 2 visits to the University of Minnesota
  • Receiving either Naltrexone or a placebo
  • While in a functional MRI (fMRI), you will look at images of fattening food, non-fattening food, and non-food objects

Principal Investigator

Tiffany Beckman, MD, MPH


For More Information

Juanita Espinosa
jespinos@umn.edu
(612) 624-8259