for people ages 18-65 (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D.



The objective of this proposed study is to collect efficacy data on ROC+ compared to an active comparator (AC) and to Behavioral Weight Loss (BWL) for participants who are high in Food Responsiveness.

Official Title

Targeting Food Cue Responsiveness for Weight Loss


The investigators have developed a new model for the treatment of obesity, called Regulation of Cues (ROC), which is based on Behavioral Susceptibility Theory. The ROC program targets two theorized mechanisms for overeating; decreased sensitivity to appetitive cues and increased sensitivity to external food cues. Considering that BWL has merit for some people, but fails to facilitate maintenance, this study will compare BWL, ROC with some aspects of BWL (ROC+) and an active comparator (AC). All treatment groups will be 1.5 hours (including weigh-ins) and will be provided in groups of 15-20 participants weekly for 4 months and twice a month for 2 months (total treatment duration = 6 months, 20 meetings). The investigators will recruit adults with overweight or obesity who are high in Food Responsiveness (FR) and will assess them at baseline, post-treatment (month 6), mid-follow-up (month 12) and follow-up (month 18).


Overweight and Obesity, Food Responsiveness, Satiety Responsiveness, Weight Loss, Overeating, Overweight, Regulation of Cues Enhanced, Behavioral Weight Loss, Nutrition Education, Stress Management and Social Support, Nutrition, Stress Management, and Social Support


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-65

  • high Food Responsiveness
  • BMI between 25kg/m2 and 45kg/m2
  • able to read English at a 5th grade reading level
  • willing and able to participate in assessment visits and treatment sessions, whether held in-person or via password protected Zoom meetings
  • able to provide data through questionnaires
  • has a smart phone through which they can complete Ecological Momentary Assessments

You CAN'T join if...

  • major medical conditions such as diabetes or recent history of coronary heart disease; symptoms of angina, stroke, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, orthopedic problems that would limit activity during the following 18 months; or any other serious medical condition that would make physical activity unsafe
  • bulimia or anorexia, significant cognitive impairment, a known psychotic disorder, acute suicidal ideation, moderate or severe alcohol or substance use disorder, or unstable psychiatric illness (e.g., recent psychiatric hospitalization in the past year)
  • medical or psychological problems that could make adherence with the study protocol difficult or dangerous
  • pregnant, lactating, or planning to become pregnant in the next 18 months
  • participating in other weight control programs and/or taking medication for weight loss
  • previous bariatric surgery
  • moving out of the San Diego area for the duration of their study enrollment (18 months)


  • UCSD Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research (CHEAR) accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92037 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D.
    Professor, Pediatrics, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 142 research publications


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Expecting 300 study participants
Last Updated