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Obesity Institute - Research

The challenges of today’s obesity epidemic are daunting, yet the discoveries emanating from investments in translational and clinical research offer unprecedented opportunities to help meet them. We will strive to optimize our own efforts in the most promising directions to meet the challenges of childhood obesity in our community with a broad spectrum of molecular, genetic, behavioral, environmental, clinical, epidemiologic and translational studies.

A unique strength of Children’s National is the pursuit of cutting-edge scientific inquiry with a focus on improving health care; we are committed to using population-based research and public policy to bring our findings to children as quickly as possible.  The Children’s Research Institute, which is part of the Children’s National Medical Center, is a top ranked pediatric research institution and children’s hospital in terms of overall NIH funding for research.  The partnership of Obesity Institute researchers with the Children’s Research Institute is a combination without parallel across the country.

Today at Children’s National 

Two exciting research studies among our multitude of projects are highlighted below:

  • Evan P. Nadler, MD, Co-Director of the Obesity Institute, was recently published in the journal Surgery for his research on laparoscopic sleeve gastectomy. The study suggests that that laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, a surgical alternative to the well-known gastric bypass procedure for weight-loss surgery, offers fewer complications and maintains the weight loss and other related benefits of bariatric surgery when used in adolescent patients.
  • Obesity Institute researchers in collaboration with two adult surgery centers, are evaluating the genetic contributions to surgical weight loss. This study will identify genetic and molecular factors associated with improved health following surgery, enabling more personalized treatment options, especially in adolescents.
  • Obesity Institute researchers are studying the effects of exercise in a group of pre-diabetic (insulin-resistant) minority adolescents.  Insulin-resistant African American and Hispanic adolescents from the DC metro area undergo treadmill exercise testing, glucose tolerance tests, blood testing for inflammatory and lipid markers, body composition scans, and anthropometric measurements.  They subsequently participate in 3 months of supervised aerobic exercise.  After the 3 months, the same measures are again evaluated to determine the effects of exercise on insulin-sensitivity and overall health among insulin-resistant minority adolescents.

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For more information, contact Evan Nadler, MD at 202-476-2151 or

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