Research Centers

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Kaplan Lab

At the MGH Weight Center, we believe that treatments for obesity that are safe and effective will be discovered only through ongoing research to find the answers to these and other questions.

The MGH Weight Center is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive care for obesity and its related medical problems. While the number of Americans affected by obesity has been increasing rapidly, so has the scientific understanding of the disorder. Obesity is a complex problem, caused by a variety of influences, which may vary between individuals. Important influences include diet, lifestyle, and mood, hormonal changes in the body, and also heritable, or genetic influences. While much has been learned about how these factors work together to affect body weight, there are many important questions left unanswered - among these are:

  • Why is weight loss through diet and lifestyle change so difficult, and even more difficult to maintain?
  • How do the hormonal influences affecting body weight and blood sugar differ between people -why does diabetes appear in some people who are overweight and not in others?
  • What genes cause some people to gain weight more easily than others, and make it harder for these "easy gainers" to lose weight?
  • What do these genes do to the body, and are there nutritional changes or medications that can block their action?

  • Why is weight loss through diet and lifestyle change so difficult, and even more difficult to maintain?
  • How do the hormonal influences affecting body weight and blood sugar differ between people -why does diabetes appear in some people who are overweight and not in others?
  • What genes cause some people to gain weight more easily than others, and make it harder for these "easy gainers" to lose weight?
  • What do these genes do to the body, and are there nutritional changes or medications that can block their action?