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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Influences on Psychological and Physiological Function in Children Project Number: 6251-51000-009-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 01, 2013
End Date: May 30, 2014

Objective:
Determine the influence of dietary factors on growth, physiological, psychological and cognitive development and function in children (from infancy to adulthood). The overall goals of this study are to: 1) evaluate the effects of infant diet (breast-milk, dairy- and soy-based formulas, and monosaccharide supplemented formula) on physiological, behavioral, and cognitive development in infants and children; 2) determine the effects of diet composition, meal patterns, and meal frequency on brain function and behavioral dynamics that are important for learning and school performance in well-characterized normal and overweight school children; and 3) characterize neurocognitive function that contributes to or is a consequence of obesity in children, including brain-function correlates of food-seeking behavior.

Approach:
Children (infants, toddlers, and school-aged youths) will be studied longitudinally to evaluate the effects of infant diet (such as, breast-milk, dairy- and soy-based formulas, and other formulas), body composition and physical activity on physiological, behavioral and cognitive development in infants and children. Nutritional status assessments, anthropometric measurements, urine and blood analysis, and measures of psychological, neuropsychological, brain imagining (MRI, fMRI), and cognitive function will be assessed. The effects of diet composition, meal patterns, and meal frequency on brain function and behavioral dynamics that are important for learning and school performance in normal and overweight school children will be assessed using validated survey instruments and state-of-the-art research equipment. The effects of various interventions (e.g., physical activity on brain function of obese children) will be tested. Neurocognitive function will be characterized that contributes to or is a consequence of obesity in children, including brain-function correlates of food-seeking behavior.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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