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The Girls’ NEEDS Project

  • National Institute of Health
  • PI: Dr. Leann L. Birch

The Girls’ NEEDS Project (GNP) was a 10-year longitudinal project that followed girls and their biological mother and father from age 5 to age 15. Data collection started in 1996/1997 and ended in 2006/2007. The aims of this project were to chart the development of the controls of food intake among girls, with particular attention to the onset of dieting during middle childhood and adolescence.

In 2015, we recontacted the girls in this study to collect information on them at age 23-24. We were able to collect follow-up information, such as BMI and dieting behaviors, on ~80% of the original sample. The most recent publication (Balantekin et al, 2018) shows weight trajectories on these girls from age 5 to 23/24 years.

In the Press: Research shows that kids who gain weight more rapidly are more likely to have obesity as young adults.

Referenced below are several papers published from the Girls' Needs Study: