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Research Pages

Why consider being in a research study?
Find out more about clinical trials
San Francisco Bay Area research studies
Research Studies Outside the Bay Area
What topics would you like to see scientists research?

Why consider being in a research study?

There are several reasons to think about participating in a research study.  

  • We all want to understand eating disorders, body image issues, and what helps with healing and prevention.
  • It is difficult for researchers to find a wide pool of appropriate participants. Research tends to be performed on college students, who may not represent the range of people a study is attempting to investigate.  
  • Research studies may be designed to give you a personal benefit, such as assessment or treatment, or financial remuneration.  They may expose the participant to new medications or techniques, or interventions that would not be available under insurance, or not be affordable otherwise.
  • They are sometimes even enjoyable!  At the very least you can feel satisfied that you have been part of advancing our understanding of this very important issue.

NOTE: Inclusion in the listing below does not imply endorsement by Body Positive.
Always make sure a research study is explained to you in full ahead of time ("informed consent") and that you feel comfortable with whatever risks it entails.  Know your rights, including the right to end your participation at any time.

Researchers: If you would like to list your study here, please contact us with your information. 

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Find out more about clinical trials 

To see whether there are research studies being conducted in your area, visit Centerwatch's clinical trial listing service. You can also sign up to be notified by email of new clinical trials in your area.

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San Francisco Bay Area research studies

Family-Based Treatment for Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa

The Division of Child Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine is  studying an approach to treating families with an adolescent with anorexia nervosa orginally developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London.  Subjects and their  families must be willing to commit to a 6-month or 12-month course of therapy and ongoing medical monitoring of their condition.

Please contact Dr. James Lock at 650-723-5473.

Studies Outside the Bay Area

The Menninger Clinic
Eating Disorders Program
Topeka, Kansas 

We are seeking subjects for a double-blind placebo controlled trial of amoxicillin for infection-triggered Anorexia Nervosa.  Girls and boys, 18 years old or younger, who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa, and who meet criteria for PANDAS, will be considered for entry into a treatment trial to compare the effectiveness of amoxicillin with placebo for decreasing eating disorder symptoms.   

PANDAS stands for:
ssociated with

Criteria for PANDAS:
1. Presence of Anorexia Nervosa
2. Pre-pubertal onset
3. Episodic course of symptom severity
4. Association of onset/exacerbation of symptoms with Strep throat
5. Neurological abnormalities during exacerbation of eating disorder symptoms.

Treatment Summary:
- Comprehensive evaluation including psychiatric and medical examination, and extensive laboratory work-up
- 10 week trial: each patient receives amoxicillin part of the time, and placebo part of the time. This can be done at home, or while receiving treatment at The Menninger Clinic.
- Follow-up assessments

All medical evaluations, treatment, and medications that are part of the study will be free of charge.  Inexpensive lodging is available locally.

Mae Sokol, M.D.
Telephone: (888)216-1860 or (785)478-1891

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Please help us determine whether genes contribute to anorexia nervosa


The Price Foundation is sponsoring a multicenter, international study seeking to determine whether a gene or genes might predispose individuals to develop anorexia nervosa. 

  We need families with at least one member who has or had anorexia nervosa, both of whose parents are willing to participate in this study.

   The study involves assessments, questionnaires, and a blood draw.

   You do not need to travel; everything can be done where you live.

   Participants will be paid upon completion of the study. 

If you have or had anorexia and are interested in obtaining more information, please call our toll free number or contact the site closest to you.  If you know any families affected by anorexia nervosa that might qualify and be interested in participating, please give them this flier.


Recovered from Anorexia or Bulimia?

The Center for Overcoming Problem Eating at UPMC Health System (Pittsburgh, PA) is seeking medication-free women recovering from anorexia or bulimia to participate in a research study.  For information:

Kelly Sabol
Eating Disorders Research
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
3811 O'Hara St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


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New York/Southern Connecticut area:

Columbia University and the Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders are currently seeking women who have bingeing and purging behaviors for a study investigating Bulimia Treatments in Primary Care. This is an outpatient study, all treatment takes place in a primary care setting. The two treatments under evaluation are pharmacotherapy with Prozac and a self-help version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy developed by Christopher Fairburn, Oxford University. Participants are randomized into one of four groups. The treatment period is approximately four months plus follow-up interviews. All treatment, medical exams, and materials are free to eligible participants. Participants need to be over 18 years of age, and able to
attend from 6 to 12 visits at the treatment site in Greenwich, CT.

For more information or to arrange an interview, call 203/531-1909 or email:

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The Rutgers Eating Disorders Clinic, at Rutgers University in New Jersey, is doing an important research study on bulimia and binge eating, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. The benefit of this research is to help lead to a better understanding of eating disorders and the factors that maintain and treat them. 

In return for participating, you will receive free treatment at the Rutgers University Eating Disorders Clinic, which is directed by Dr. G. Terence Wilson, a leading international expert in the treatment of eating disorders. You will also receive $50.00 in payment for your participation.

Eligible participants (determined by an interview) will be asked to keep records of their eating patterns and will receive healthful nutritional supplements (free of charge) and two test meals at the clinic. Subjects will be asked to bring in these records to the clinic. The location of the Rutgers Eating Disorders Clinic is at Rutgers University in central
New Jersey.

If you think you may be interested in participating in this study, please contact the Rutgers Eating Disorders Clinic, at (732) 445-2292 and let us know a good time to reach you by phone. (The address is 41C Gordon Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854). All calls are confidential. If you prefer, you can send an e-mail to .

Thank you very much for your interest and response.

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New internet research as part of my Masters Thesis at Massey University:
It investigates if there is a possible relationship between body image and activity levels in adult women.  The aim of the study is to discover whether any relationship exists between a woman's self perception (body image) and her level of formal and informal exercise.  We are also measuring different ways of coping to see if this relates to either body image or activity levels.
The research is published at and has Ethical approval from Massey University Human Ethics Committee.  
I am also contactable at the formal research address
Thank you
Fiona Gordon

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The Eating Disorders Treatment Center at Hampstead Hospital in conjunction
with Access Clinical Trials is conducting a clinical trial of a medication
for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This medicine is currently approved
for another indication, but has not been approved by the Food and Drug
Administration for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Clients eligible for this study must have a primary diagnosis of anorexia
nervosa for at least one year prior to entering this study, with a history
of failure to respond to at least one course of treatment. Cients must be
female, 18-40 years of age and nonsmokers. A partial list of exclusion
criteria includes clients with a history of psychosis or bipolar disorder
or patients who are acutely suicidal.

Clients will receive, at no cost, up to six weeks of inpatient treatment at
the Eating Disorders Treatment Center at Hampstead Hospital. Some patients
may also be eligible for an additional 1-3 weeks of partial hospital

If you would like to learn more about this study or if you have clients who
may be eligible, please contact me at 603-329-5311 extension 3252 or
800-600-5311 extension 3252.

Please feel free to pass this letter on to interested colleagues. We
appreciate your helping others to learn about this valuable clinical study.

Best Regards,
Monika Ostroff
Monika Ostroff, MSW
Program Director/Therapist
Eating Disorders Treatment Center
Hampstead Hospital, 218 East Road
Hampstead, NH 03841 Tel: 800-600-5311 or 603-329-5311
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The Eating Disorders Unit at The Medical Center at Princeton is conducting a
clinical trial of a medication for the treatment of anorexia nervosa. This
medicine is currently approved for another indication, but is not approved
for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Patients eligible for this study must have had an initial diagnosis of
anorexia nervosa at least one year before entering this study, with a
history of failure to respond to at least one course of treatment. Patients
will receive, at no cost, up to six weeks of inpatient treatment on the
Eating Disorders Unit at the Medical Center at Princeton. Our 14-bed unit
provides intensive psychological, medical and adjunctive therapies for
patients with Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. It is located close to the
campus of Princeton University. Travel expenses may be covered.

Patients must be female, 18 to 40 years of age, and non-smokers. A partial
list of exclusion criteria includes patients with a history of psychosis or
bipolar disorder or patients who are acutely suicidal.

If you would like to learn more about this study or if you have patients who
may be eligible please contact our Study Coordinator, Melinda Parisi at The
Medical Center of Princeton Eating Disorder Program. She can be reached at
(609) 497-4490, or  <> . Also,
please feel free to pass on this letter to interested colleagues or
patients, or post it in an appropriate location. The information can also
be found on our web site,
<> . We appreciate your helping
others learn about this valuable study.

Best regards,

Russell D. Marx, M.D.
Principal Investigator

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Dr. Donna Ciliska, author of Beyond Dieting and faculty member at McMaster
University in Ontario, Canada, has a doctoral student who is doing a qualitative study (feminist analysis) of women and how they experience the results of gastroplasty or
bypass surgery, for up to many years later. She is conducting in-depth
interviews and so far she has 7 participants. Her student would like a way
to contact other possible participants.

She is willing to do the interviews by phone. If anyone is interested in
being interviewed for this study please contact the student directly. Her
name is Leanne Joanisse.

Her phone is : 905-383-3970
fax: 905-383-9164

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Please help determine effective psychosocial treatments for
adolescents with bulimia. The University of Chicago is conducting a five-year
NIMH study to evaluate effective outpatient psychological treatments for
adolescents with bulimia nervosa.

Daniel le Grange, PhD
The University of Chicago
Office: 773-702-9277
email:  or

Requirements: To participate you must be between the ages of 12-19 and suffer
from bulimia nervosa. The study requires that the study participants and
their parents be interviewed, fill out questionnaires and then be assigned to
one of two outpatient psychological treatments. Treatment will consist of
about 20 outpatient visits schedules over a 6-month period. Treatment will be
provided free of charge. If you are interested in participating in this study
or you would like more information please contact Amy Buser at 773-834-5677.

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What topics would you like to see scientists research? Why?

A selection of your responses:

"Do educational programs on preventing eating disorders in schools really work, or do they just promote eating disorders?"

"I would like to see research carried out on the effects of moderate exercise on associated conditions of abdominal fat accumulation. I think this would show that fat people can be healthy without having to lose weight or body fat if they are active. To pin point specific conditions would be helpful in linking them to exercise prescriptions by health professionals. But this could equally be applied to people of all sizes."

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"The relationship between fat and cardiovascular fitness. Can someone be fat and fit ? I am doing my research project on this subject and can't find a lot of information."

"I'd like to see research on folks troubled by body image problems, but who don't meet diagnostic criteria for eating disorders. I personally am struggling with a painfully negative body image. However, it is difficult to find assistance if you are not eating disordered."

"I would like to see more research done on recovery from eating disorders. This is important to me because I am remission. I think it is necessary to understand the changes an individual goes through."

"How the media affect what we see as the ideal body."

"Do the media power our thoughts and lead us to believe that there is an ideal body? With the slender figured models on the catwalk and the barbie doll figures, are they trying to tell us that this is the way we should all look. Could it be possible that this has a big impact on bulimia and anorexia sufferers?"

"The relationship between the diet fads, pills to cure just about anything, media, etc. and eating disorders and how women feel about their bodies and treat their bodies."

"Have any scientists researched the misportrayal of beauty in the media as a factor in the number of eating disorders?"

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"Menopause & weight gain. Hormonal changes."

"Effects of menopause and perimenopause on eating disorders and/or weight loss because so many of us are reaching "that age".

"The long-term health effects of low-carb, high-protein and fat diets (i.e. Atkins). I can only find studies on how well people were able to maintain results, etc. I'm more interested in the long-term health risks associated with such a diet. Are there any or not?"

"Genetic links to body weight. My mother's family were average height and fairly thin. My father's family were not as tall and more heavily built. I have four other siblings and we all are on the heavy side. My maternal aunt feels we are all just lazy and not eating right. I have tried all the weight loss programs and the body is not changing."

"As a psychologist I believe that the Barbie doll has had a negative effect on many girls. I'd like to establish a link between girls having a Barbie and as adults suffering from anorexia or bulimia. We could then alert parents that buying a Barbie for their daughters is dangerous."

"I would like to see if massage therapy can be used as a tool of body image acceptance."

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"The link that is being noticed by health psychologists, between young women requesting breast reduction, and background problems, such as childhood abuse, clinical depression or eating disorders body dysmorphic behaviors, etc. The figures I've seen suggest from 25 to 60% on closer screening have an underlying history, but that's from workers in the field, there is no coordinated research. I'd like to see some, NOT DONE BY COSMETIC SURGEONS WHO PROFIT FROM THIS."

"Cross cultural University students and their perception of body weight, shape and size."

"I would like to see more research regarding the positive/negative aspects of family interactions with eating disorder members."

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Last updated: March 05, 2011.