Tag Archives: fraternal twins

Brain Regulation of Appetite in Twins (BRAT)

The goal of this study is to learn more about the regulation of appetite, in order to better understand how the central nervous system regulates appetite and food consumption.

This study required both members of the twin pair to come to the University of Washington Medical Center together for one eight-hour visit.  Blood samples were collected over the course of the 8-hour visit.  Participants were also be asked to complete questionnaires, have a DEXA scan (a type of x-ray), and have MRI scans.

Initial results from the study showed that body mass index (BMI) was highly correlated within twin pairs. Twin pairs were also similar in meal-induced changes in hunger, fullness, and appeal of fattening foods. These findings suggest that there is a genetic component to satiety perception (fullness after eating) and the effect of a meal in altering regional brain responses to images of food.

Another finding showed that anxiety in women may promote excess calorie consumption, placing women with a genetic predisposition to weight gain at a risk of obesity.

Published Research


TwinFest a Huge Success!

Over 300 people gathered on Saturday, June 7, 2014 for our first annual TwinFest! Attending this joyful celebration of twins were about 120 pairs of twins and their family and friends.

The event was emceed by Shawn Dietrich, a fraternal twin who is a member of the UW Twin Registry. As a child, he and his family (which also included another pair of fraternal twins) attended the famous Twin Days Festival in Twinsberg, Ohio.

The event started with a presentation by Dr. Glen Duncan, Director of the UW Twin Registry. He discussed the importance of twin research in general, and the exciting research that we are doing at the UW, with the help of members of the UW Twin Registry.

The guest speaker was Dr. Joan Friedman, a psychotherapist who specializes in twin issues. She is the author of two books, many articles, and a blog about twins. In addition, she is an identical twin herself, and the mother of fraternal twin sons. She spoke about her new book, The Same but Different: How Twins Can Live, Love and Learn to Be Individuals.

Dr. Friedman shared some of her own experiences as an identical twin – for example, how difficult it was to be separated from her sister for the first time when they went off to different colleges. She also discussed how her own experiences growing up as a twin influenced the way she parented her own fraternal twin sons. Dr. Friedman signed her book for those who purchased it at the event. Click here if you would like to purchase a (non-signed) copy of her book.

The program ended with “Story Time.” Many twins volunteered to share their funny twin stories. The twins in the audience, who could easily relate to these stories, responded with delight!

The TwinFest Photo Booth was very popular. Photos were taken of almost all the twins who attended! Local reporters were present at the event, and features about TwinFest appeared in The Seattle Times, Seattle PI, and KPLU. KING5 TV aired a short segment about TwinFest on its Saturday night 10 PM News broadcast!

TwinFest 2014 sold out several weeks in advance. TwinFest 2015 will be held in a larger venue!