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Egg Consumption, Skeletal Health, and Cognition in Obese Children

This project will determine if eating formulated egg products can improve bone strength and cognitive function in obese and normal-weight children ages 9 to 13 years, potentially mediated by reduced inflammation. Bone and brain function are rarely studied together; however, obesity, a global epidemic, contributes to chronic inflammation, which attenuates both bone and brain health. Here, we focus on children in the early stages of sexual maturation both because of our expertise in this area and the fact that this is a time of high nutrient need for both bone and brain maturation.

Increasing the consumption of healthy foods is a worldwide challenge that can be addressed, in part, through technological advancements such as the development of palatable, more functional foods. In collaboration with the University of Georgia (UGA) Food Product Innovation & Commercialization Center (i.e., in Phase I), we have almost completed the development of several tasty meal products (e.g., eggy pancake, macaroni & cheese, and ice cream) rich in whole eggs, which are more palatable than other egg-rich meals. Eggs are an important global food source, especially in developing countries and for some groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, and children.

Eggs also increase satiety and reduce craving for short-term food intake. The research in Phase II will be the first long-term feeding trial of its kind to determine if feeding egg-rich formulated meal products to obese and normal-weight children for nine months during a period of rapid growth (i) enhances cortical bone strength or (ii) improves memory and executive functioning, and (iii) if these effects can be attributed to reductions in inflammation.

  • Sponsor
    American Egg Board

  • Principal investigator
    Richard Lewis, UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences

  • Co-principal investigators
    Patrick O’Connor

    Kirk Kealy
    Food Science and Technology

    Emma Laing
    Foods and Nutrition

    Assaf Oshri
    Human Development and Family Science

  • Active since
    December 2017

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