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Research Projects at the Hull Body Composition Laboratory

Ongoing Projects

Growth and Adiposity in Newborns: The Influence of Prenatal DHA Supplementation (GAINS)
National Institutes of Health R01 07/2018-06/2023

The ADORE GAINS study is exploring the impact that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake during pregnancy can have on baby’s body composition up to two years of age. This project follows babies whose mothers participated in a parent randomized-controlled trial investigating DHA supplementation during pregnancy.

The body composition of the babies is analyzed at two weeks, six months, 12 months, and 24 months. The primary aim of the ADORE GAINS study is to determine if prenatal DHA supplementation can help prevent higher infant adipose tissue accumulation in pregnancies with excessive gestational weight gain.

View snips from the ADORE GAINS storybook given to participants before the two-year visit to help explain the study methods to toddlers.

Completed Projects

  • Feasibility of a Single Goal Intervention to Promote Appropriate Gestational Weight Gain (GIRAFE  Study)

    The GIRAFE study investigated whether focusing on a single goal intervention of a high fiber diet could prevent excessive gestational weight gain. The intervention group participated in group phone counseling weekly for a duration of 12 weeks, tracked their dietary intake, and received 6 weeks of snacks containing high fiber amounts. Both groups tracked and reported their bodyweight weekly. The primary aim of the GIRAFE study was to determine whether focusing on a single-goal intervention (high fiber intake) would lead to a lower gestational weight gain in pregnant women.

  • Promoting Appropriate Weight Gain in Pregnant Women (GRUVE Study)

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a difference between a traditional care plan and group-based phone counseling in promoting appropriate gestational weight gain. Pregnant women were assigned to a control group and an intervention group. The women were followed from 18 weeks of pregnancy to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The control group received the usual prenatal care while the intervention group participated in hour-long group counseling calls each week. The group-based phone counseling calls were led by a health educator whom educated the women on a variety of topics including healthy eating, physical activity, and infant care.

  • Does a High Fiber Diet During Pregnancy Change the Maternal Microbiota?
    UL1 NCATS 03/2018-02/2019

    The purpose of this study was to quantify the change in maternal gut microbiota in relation to gestational weight gain and fat accrual.

  • In Utero Phthalate Exposure in Relation to Offspring Adiposity Measures
    UL1 NCATS 06/2015-06/2016

    The purpose of this research was to quantify the amount of phthalates in maternal urine late in pregnancy and relate it to changes in offspring growth and body composition from birth to one year.

  • Factors Affecting Growth Patterns and Body Composition of Infants

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether breastfeeding mitigates the effect of in utero maternal hyperglycemia and obesity on early infant growth. Other goals were to investigate the relationship between fetal and infant growth and body composition, as well as, the relationship between maternal obesity and gestational diabetes on maternal heart rate and heart variability.

Interested in Participating in a Research Project?

This lab is not currently enrolling any studies to outside participants. However, women 12-20 weeks pregnant may be interested in the Assessment of DHA on Reducing Early Preterm Birth (ADORE) trial.

Participants are eligible to have their children participate in the ADORE GAINS study, a follow-up to ADORE investigating the effect of prenatal DHA supplementation on a baby’s body composition.

Holly Hull portrait

Lab Director

Holly Hull, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
faculty bio

Research Collaborations

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY