The University of Pittsburgh Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) seeks to facilitate multi-disciplinary research directed toward the prevention and treatment of obesity, and research that seeks to advance understanding of the causes of obesity. These goals are of major significance for public health because the majority of adults in this country are overweight or obese, this prevalence is increasing, and childhood obesity has become commonplace.

A major emphasis of the Pittsburgh NORC is on patient-oriented research. The NORC supports clinical investigations that range across the entire age span, from prenatal and gestational determinants of obesity, obesity in childhood and adolescence, among the elderly and in middle-aged adults. Areas of expertise within our research base include in vivo metabolism, body composition, behavioral, pharmacological and surgical treatments of obesity, and the epidemiology of cardiovascular complications of obesity.

GOALS OF THE NORC
  • To encourage high quality research and facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration among investigators involved in the study of obesity and nutrition.
  • Create common resources that make it easier to discover new science.
  • To oversee a Pilot/Feasibility grant application and review process, to fund innovative obesity and nutrition research by young investigators.
  • To coordinate inter-center communications.
  • To investigate metabolic causes and consequences of obesity, including studies of body composition and energy expenditure.
  • To support population-based clinical investigations of obesity and nutritional diseases and population-based interventions for these disorders.
  • To initiate hypothesis driven obesity and nutrition research that is based on the scientific expertise and facilities of this core.
  • To promote the development and implementation of treatments that target specific populations (e.g., children, young women during high risk periods for weight gain such as pregnancy or smoking cessation, bariatric surgery patients, persons with IGT and type 2 diabetes), to develop and evaluate innovative approaches to obesity management (e.g., weight gain prevention, maintenance models involving physical activity, new motivational interventions), and to offer the highest level of expertise regarding the assessment and evaluation of these obesity related interventions.
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