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Kroeger wins TOS George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award

November 23, 2015

In 2015, The Obesity Society (TOS) added three grants and five awards to its annual program designed to encourage and support research in the field of obesity. Cynthia M. Kroeger, PhD, post-doctoral fellow in the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) and Office of Energetics, was honored as the recipient of inaugural George A. Bray Doctoral Dissertation Award. Dr. Kroeger was presented with her award during TOS’s ObesityWeek gathering, held recently in Los Angeles.

For her dissertation, Dr. Kroeger investigated whether an alternate day fasting (ADF) diet regimen produces superior changes in body weight, coronary heart disease risk indicators, and eating behaviors during weight loss maintenance when compared with a traditional weight maintenance regimen (CR) in overweight and obese adults. Sedentary subjects were randomized to one of three groups: (1) ADF, (2) CR, or (3) control for a 24-week weight loss phase followed by a 24-week weight loss maintenance phase. The ADF diet consisted of a 75 percent energy restriction “fast day” with a 125 percent intake “feed day” for weight loss and a 50 percent energy restriction “fast day” with a 150 percent intake “feed day” for weight loss maintenance. The CR diet consisted of a daily 25 percent restriction during the weight loss phase and a 100 percent daily intake regimen for weight loss maintenance. The control group ate their usual diet for the duration of the study. Body weight decreased in both intervention groups during the weight loss phase and remained decreased by the end of the weight maintenance phase when compared with the control group. Fat mass, insulin, HOMA-IR, and leptin decreased in both intervention groups during the weight loss phase compared with the control group, however there were no differences in these parameters compared with the control group by the end of the weight loss maintenance phase. Contrary to the study hypotheses, ADF did not differ from CR in change(s) in body weight, CHD risk indicators, or behavioral endpoints during the weight loss maintenance phase.

Dr. Kroeger’s research interests include how brain and behavior factor into obesity development and treatment, statistics, research methods, research transparency, and reproducibility. At UAB she will receive further training in obesity, statistics, meta-research, and teaching methods. She received NIH funding (F32DK107157) to research two topics of research reporting fidelity, namely p-hacking and effect size estimation errors. She will be evaluating the prevalence of these two issues within published dietary weight loss supplement scientific literature as well as developing and testing training modules for early career investigators, designed to improve effect size estimations and data reproducibility.