Inflammation, self-regulation and weight loss resistance in children and adolescents with obesity

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Biological psychology
    • Psychopathology
    • Social and emotional development
Obesity inflammation self-regulation
Project description

Childhood obesity is a complex health issue that has reached epidemic levels. The adverse effects on the physical and psychological health make it important to fully understand this disease. Especially resistance to weight loss and maintaining the loss after treatment stays problematic. Obesity-associated inflammation, assumed to have a detrimental role also on mental health, could help in understanding this problem. However, research did not yet fully investigate the assumed different mechanisms underlying the relationship between obesity and inflammation in youth. Therefore, this project aims to study a new model on the role of inflammation to explain resistance to weight loss and weight gain. The main objective is to test our model by evaluating: how inflammation affects maladaptive eating via self-regulation, whether maladaptive eating leads to weight gain and increases of inflammation and psychosocial stress, and whether this stress moderates the relationship between self-regulation and maladaptive eating. We will also evaluate whether psychological interventions can enhance self-regulation and reduce inflammation. The knowledge following from these lines of research may provide us with a clearer understanding on resistance to weight loss and the high relapse rates, and can inform and guide the development and implementation of interventions in order to make the current obesity treatments more successful and prevent relapse and chronic inflammation.