HOUSTON—People are getting paid to pig out for the sake of obesity research.
Operating room nurse Dawn Freeman is back to eating better after being paid $3,500 plus food expenses to eat an extra 1,000 calories a day as part of an overfeeding study.
"We really are paying people to gain weight, there’s no question about it," said Dr. Samuel Klein from the Center for Nutrition.
The goal of the study is to find out why obesity causes metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease in some people but not in others.
The findings could help identify the factors that are protecting some obese people from those adverse effects.
Freeman gained 20 pounds in two months.
"I couldn’t climb stairs after two to three weeks. I was tired I couldn’t breathe," she said.
"If we can understand that link better we can develop better therapies to break that link," said Dr. Klein.
After gaining five-percent of her body weight, Dawn was put on a six month weight-loss program. Five months into it, she dropped the pounds and gained a taste for something else.
"I consciously put vegetables on my plate now," said Freeman.