Below is a list of current projects that are open for recruitment and on-going projects that are closed for recruitment.

Current BRIE Lab Studies

The mLIFE study aims to help people lose weight while using different digital technologies for self-monitoring diet, physical activity and body weight. This 12-month study is recruiting adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who have overweight or obesity. Participants will be asked to track all their meals via the mLIFE app, use a FitBit to track their physical activity, and use a FitBit scale to track their weight. Participants will get information on how to eat healthy and excise more via 2 weekly podcasts. The mLIFE app will also facilitate social support among fellow participants. 

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This study is recruiting African American adults between the ages of 18 and 65 who will participate in a 3-month healthy eating study that will conclude with assessments of your diet, weight, and health behaviors. As part of this study, participants will be randomized to follow one of three healthy diets that are part of the US Dietary Guidelines: a Healthy US diet, a Mediterranean diet, or a Vegetarian diet. Participants will learn how to cook healthy and delicious recipes here at UofSC so that they can enjoy the health benefits from nutritious meals that taste great.

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This study partners with local vegan soul food restaurants in the southeast to deliver a 12-week nutrition education program along with weekly to-go plant-based meals. NEW Soul is recruiting African American adults between the ages of 18 and 65.

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Select Student Projects

Discover USC Student presentations


Morgan Berman: Honor’s Thesis Project
A NEW Look at Plant-Based: A supplementary CookBook to the Nutritious Eating with Soul (NEW) Soul Study

Ongoing and Past Research (enrollment currently closed)

This study is a 9-month intervention from the University of South Carolina in partnership with Rare Variety Café, located in downtown Columbia, SC. This study will introduce you to a plant-based diet and help us learn more about delivering the NEW Soul program in the community. The study includes 12 weekly online (Zoom) classes, recipes and educational materials, meal vouchers to sample delicious plant-based foods from Rare Variety Café, and up to $50 in financial compensation.
This project is examining the effect of adopting two different dietary patterns (vegan and omnivorous), which focus on southern cuisine, on both cardiovascular disease risk factors and weight loss among African American adults with overweight or obesity.


The project partners with local community restaurants to help inform intervention and recipe development. Learn more about the NEW Soul study at

The FAST Study examined the impact of various fasting and meal-timing conditions on body weight and one’s satisfaction with their diet among overweight adults. More specifically, this study was a randomized crossover study comparing the impact of the following three conditions: time-restricted feeding, intermittent fasting, and alternate day fasting.
Are you or someone you know pregnant?
Researchers at the University of South Carolina are looking for PREGNANT women, living in the US, ages 20-35 to join a 12-week long research study using smartphones.  The Healthy Motivations for Moms-to-be study specifically focuses on moms-to-be working towards healthy lifestyle goals like stress reduction, healthy eating, and exercise during pregnancy.  We’re looking for participants who are within the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy. No travel is required so you can participate from the comfort of your home or on the go!  Participants in the study can receive up to $35 in Amazon gift cards for their time. Fill out this interest form and someone from the study will contact you regarding your eligibility to participate:
Are you an adult looking to lose weight using innovative technology?
The University of South Carolina is looking for adults to participate in a six-week weight loss study using innovative technology to track food intake. Participants must be overweight or obese, between the ages of 18 and 65, own an Android of iPhone smartphone, and able to attend two in-person visits on USC campus. For more information, please complete the screening questionnaire.
Join this innovative six-month weight loss study! If you have a smartphone and can come to four in-person sessions at the University of South Carolina over the next 6 months, then please click here to learn more about the DIET Mobile study.
We are exploring eating frequency differences between vegans and omnivores using the Bite Counter, an innovative wearable wrist device. To enroll in this research study, you must be between the ages 18-65, and currently be following a vegan or omnivore diet. An omnivore diet includes all food types, such as meat, fish, dairy products, and vegetables. A vegan diet excludes all animal by products, such as meat, fish, and dairy products. You must be able to come to the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in Columbia, SC at least three times during the two-weeks of participation in the research study (baseline, end of week 1, and end of week 2).Participants will receive $30 for completing the study and a free nutrient analysis. Participants will also be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card for each time they log their diet using the Bite Counter. For more information and to see if you qualify, visit:  VeganBytes Study for more information.
This is a 1-month study that will examine the use of podcasting and a wearable wrist-worn device to track calorie intake and promote weight loss. A podcast is a digital audio file that can be listened to on portable media players, like iPods, and personal computers. This study will run from July 14, 2015 to August 11, 2015. In this study, you will receive weight loss information delivered via twice weekly podcasts. You will also track each meal you eat by wearing a provided watch-like device. For more information, click here.
Motivating Families with Interactive TechnologyIf you are interested in getting more physical activity and eating better, have a smartphone or tablet, and have a child between the ages of 9 and 12, please visit for more information.
SocialPODIf you are interested in losing weight and have an Android phone or tablet, please contact us for more information.
imageedit_5_6129385009Eight-week pilot study comparing adoption of five different dietary approaches: vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, or omnivorous, on weight loss in 63 adults affected by obesity or overweight. All dietary patterns emphasized eating low-fat and low-glycemic index foods.
This study was a cross-sectional survey of 422 participants who had completed a half-, full-, or ultramarathon in the past 12 months. The objective of the study was to examine differences in diet, particularly vegetarian diets, among distance runners.
imageedit_9_3877758268Six-month intervention examining how different dietary approaches may be useful for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) who are attempting pregnancy, particularly by measuring changes in weight.
imageedit_7_9499176084The Mobile Pounds Off Digitally Study examined the additional benefit of mobile prompting (2/day) and communication via the social networking site Twitter and mobile diet and physical activity monitoring via  phone application (Mobile group) over podcasts alone (Podcast group).