BWH’s Metabolic Test Kitchen on Tower 9A is equipped with precision balances, industrial refrigerators and other specialized equipment. Walk into the test kitchen on any given day and you’ll find team members designing menus and preparing meals for BWH research studies and meeting with study participants about nutrition.
As part of the Center for Clinical Investigation (CCI), the test kitchen provides nutrition resources and expertise to investigators whose studies involve a nutrition component. Depending on study protocol, the team’s dietitians and nutrition research assistants calculate and create individual menus according to study participants’ food preferences and the study’s nutrient targets. Diet technicians weigh each food and prepare it for outpatient pick-up or inpatient trays.
“Nutrition plays a big role in treatment and prevention in many realms of medicine,” said Karen Yee, MS, RD, senior dietitian for BWH Nutrition. “It’s an integral part of health and wellness, which shows in the variety of studies we’re involved in.”
The nutrition team is deeply involved in several ongoing studies. For example, staff are working on a weight loss study that assists participants in losing 10 percent of their total body weight. Subjects participate for three to six months, consuming meals that are carefully designed and prepared by test kitchen staff. In addition to meals and snacks, nutrition staff provide weight loss counseling to help participants reach the study goals and continue a healthy lifestyle after the study ends.
“The kitchen is an integral resource in the discovery of how food affects metabolism and other processes and the translation of these findings to benefit patients,” said research dietitian Leigh Keating, MS, RD.
Learn more at brighamandwomens.org/research/cci/dietary.aspx. View a recipe designed by the team below: