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Minnesota Obesity Center

The Minnesota Obesity Center is an Obesity Nutrition Research Center funded by the National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

MNOC has a strong and diverse research base consisting of 68 active investigators with 114 funded projects in obesity, energy metabolism and eating disorders, generating over $32 million per year in grant support for their investigations.

The Center incorporates 60 principle investigators who are studying the causes and treatments of obesity. These investigators are from the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Medical Center, Hennepin County Medical Center, and HealthPartners Research Foundation.

MNOC awards small research grants through its Pilot and Feasibility Program, with additional support provided through the Core Facilities. The Education Enrichment Program for MNOC provides the general public with a source of information on the happenings of the Center and on the current developments in the field of obesity. This program includes a biomonthly seminar series.

The Minnesota Obesity Center is a proud member of the Obesity Consortium of Minnesota. The Consortium was formed to further facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration and foster cooperation in obesity research, education, and outreach efforts. Co-chairs of the Consortium are Robert W. Jeffery, PhD and Allen Levine, PhD.

The mission of the Minnesota Obesity Center is to find ways to prevent weight gain and secondarily the onset of obesity and complications of obesity.

Obesity is clearly a major source of illness and death, and is the most common nutritional ailment in the United States. Despite its prevalence, there is little known about effective measures to prevent obesity, and therefore its attendant complications. Further, it is well known that obese individuals can more easily lose weight than maintain the loss. It now seems clear that the emphasis should be prevention of initial weight gain, and failing that, prevention of regain after weight loss.

With the mission of prevention defined, our vision establishes three goals:
1. Find the underlying problems that lead to obesity;
2. Identify behaviors that lead to obesity and find ways to help change those behaviors;
3. Determine public health and public policy measures that will reduce the frequency and severity of obesity.