Maternal to Adolescent Eating, Nutrition and Development (M2AENAD) Laboratory
The maternal to adolescent eating, nutrition, and development in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming studies how behavior, family, and environment contribute to poor eating habits and excess weight gain during high development periods (early childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy). Our goal is to uncover practical risk factors predicting excessive weight gain and develop individual level intervention and treatment strategies for excess weight gain and related health problems.
What We Do
The M2AENAD lab studies the bio-behavioral interactions that make up our psychological and physical health. We focus on periods of high development: toddlers, teenagers, and pregnant women. We use eye tracking, blood draws, psychological tasks, diet recalls, and more to understand how excess weight gain and insulin resistance develop. We also specialize in functional magnetic resonance imaging analysis!
Why We Do It
Toddlerhood and adolescents are periods of rapid cognitive and physical development. Think about when you were a toddler, suddenly you can feed yourself or throw your food on the floor. Similarly, as a teenager you probably gained the ability to purchase your food and choose foods your family might not provide. These periods are ideal for behavioral change. Additionally, pregnant women are motivated to change eating behaviors for themselves and their future baby. Unfortunately, these periods of high development are also when we are vulnerable to excess weight gain and insulin resistance. The M2AENAD lab aims to work with these populations to develop healthy behaviors and decrease risk of excess weight gain and insulin resistance.