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    Should I be paid to participate in medical research?

    Cambridge university is doing medical study into why some people never seem to put on weight while others always do. They want to isolate the gene that determines propensity to gain weight.

    I have always been very slim and I never seem to feel hungry, which helps me to regulate how much I eat and when I eat. Not that I eat very healthily as I have a weakness for junk food and cakes! Therefore my GP has recommended me for the study.

    However, there is no benefit to me to participate and there is no financial reward so I can't see why I should participate. What is your opinion guys? Should they not pay me to participate and should I participate for free for the good of man kind???

    This is a serious question by the way as I have to reply to let them know if I can participate or not by the end of May.

    57 Comments

    Probably depends on what the research involves. Do you know? Hard to advise until we know that information.

    Original Poster

    AndrewRoss

    Probably depends on what the research involves. Do you know? Hard to … Probably depends on what the research involves. Do you know? Hard to advise until we know that information.



    They want me to give them a DNA sample and to complete a questionnaire then it carries on from there I guess after they have analysed the DNA samples.

    Quite often, the major benefit of taking part in a medical study is that you'll generally get a thorough health check as part of the study - One which your GP simply wouldn't have the time to conduct. Further, depending on what the study is, you'll often have the benefit of their knowledge. In your case, they may suggest changes to your diet as part of the study (or they might not!) but you would only get that information by participating.

    Many cancer patients take part in them as last resort as part of their treatment - it can lead to them living longer or in some situations them being cured - far more important than any monetary reward.

    Ryanposs

    Quite often, the major benefit of taking part in a medical study is that … Quite often, the major benefit of taking part in a medical study is that you'll generally get a thorough health check as part of the study - One which your GP simply wouldn't have the time to conduct. Further, depending on what the study is, you'll often have the benefit of their knowledge. In your case, they may suggest changes to your diet as part of the study (or they might not!) but you would only get that information by participating.Many cancer patients take part in them as last resort as part of their treatment - it can lead to them living longer or in some situations them being cured - far more important than any monetary reward.



    Oh, and that's not trying to persuade you to take part or not - I'm just trying to say why some people do want to take part.

    That's not much to do really, thought you meant they were going to study you for the next month tied up in a hospital basement feeding you cheeseburgers.

    DNA sample will likely be what a swab, or blood test, and questionnaire? As long as you don't mind needles I can't see it being worth much financially even if they did pay.

    Original Poster

    Ryanposs

    Oh, and that's not trying to persuade you to take part or not - I'm just … Oh, and that's not trying to persuade you to take part or not - I'm just trying to say why some people do want to take part.



    if it was cancer research, i would not hesitate as god forbid, i may have to fight cancer one day, but keeping slim is no use to me as i don't have an issue so there is absolutely no benefit to me at all.

    Fortunately, not everyone takes such a selfish approach to medical care. God forbid you did have to one day deal with cancer. What would your opinion be if all the doctors working towards a cure had thought "well, it doesn't affect me, so there's absolutely no benefit to me at all"?

    Its entirely up to you, why do you think you should be paid when I've no doubt you've given your GP samples for free many times over and filled out endless online questionnaires in hopes of winning something you have no chance of getting.
    Edited by: "Error440" 12th May

    Original Poster

    Error440

    Its entirely up to you



    cheers Error. i feel guilty not participating but i am leaning towards i can't be bothered.

    mutley1

    if it was cancer research, i would not hesitate as god forbid, i may have … if it was cancer research, i would not hesitate as god forbid, i may have to fight cancer one day, but keeping slim is no use to me as i don't have an issue so there is absolutely no benefit to me at all.



    I was going to give a reasoned reply, but then I thought, "why should I?" After all, there isn't any benefit to me personally in answering any of your questions on this site.

    Original Poster

    mas99

    I was going to give a reasoned reply, but then I thought, "why should I?" … I was going to give a reasoned reply, but then I thought, "why should I?" After all, there isn't any benefit to me personally in answering any of your questions on this site.



    actually a pretty good point.

    mutley1

    cheers Error. i feel guilty not participating but i am leaning towards i … cheers Error. i feel guilty not participating but i am leaning towards i can't be bothered.



    Well if thats how you feel fine but by the sounds of it they aint asking much unless they want you to travel out of your way to get to them

    Original Poster

    Error440

    Well if thats how you feel fine but by the sounds of it they aint asking … Well if thats how you feel fine but by the sounds of it they aint asking much unless they want you to travel out of your way to get to them



    to begin with, they want me to give them a saliva sample for their research. they said that they will use this for the DNA sample and that they will use the sample for other research areas in future.

    a bit freaky to think that they are going to have my DNA sample and to preserve it to continue to use it in future for other studies.

    mutley1

    to begin with, they want me to give them a saliva sample for their … to begin with, they want me to give them a saliva sample for their research. they said that they will use this for the DNA sample and that they will use the sample for other research areas in future.a bit freaky to think that they are going to have my DNA sample and to preserve it to continue to use it in future for other studies.



    Trust me the medical services already have plenty of your DNA and its just a swab in the mouth, i doubt it will take more then half an hour to do it and the questionnaire and your probably get a cup of tea out of it.

    You might end up finding out something interesting about yourself, like youve had a tapeworm for 20 years or something X)
    Edited by: "Error440" 12th May

    Original Poster

    Error440

    Trust me the medical services already have plenty of your DNA and its … Trust me the medical services already have plenty of your DNA and its just a swab in the mouth



    really? would they have kept my DNA though?

    I guess if you were close to someone who died of an obesity related illness you wouldn't hesitate. Of course, the financial reward for isolating obesity genes and possibly switching them off would be phenomenal, but not just to the researchers and their backers, but society, as a whole.

    My son has taken part in medical research. I always hv to accompany him as he's 15 years old . I have traveled 8 miles from home to take him to these researches and even 40 miles away from home . I always do it to help and not for any financial benefit,
    But on occasions he has been awarded Amazon vouchers . Once he was given £50 voucher and another time he was given £25 . I signed up without any knowledge he would be given anything. So op , you may possibly be given something after research is completed .
    I always do it to give something back . My son has a chronic illness and if it wasn't for medical research , he would not have the care and treatment he is receiving today to lead a happy ,healthy normal life . So I think of it this way , if I'm not gaining from these researches , maybe someone else will one day .

    mutley1

    really? would they have kept my DNA though?



    They keep everything for a set period of time, sometimes longer then that remember the baby tissue sample scandal.

    Original Poster

    Error440

    They keep everything for a set period of time, sometimes longer then that … They keep everything for a set period of time, sometimes longer then that remember the baby tissue sample scandal.



    Wo....WTF! i thought only criminals get their DNA samples recorded for prospertity. i don't know anything about baby tissue sample scandal. i don't follow the news except the financial news so i have no idea what is going on out there in the world.

    I could save Cambridge university a bit of time. The answer is, some people eat way more calories than they need. Some people eat like a 6ft'5" athlete and wonder why only they gain weight.

    Understand that your metabolism is an individual thing. Every person has a varying energy requirement. Once you know your TDEE you can either gain or lose weight depending on your goals, so long as you have an idea of the calories you are consuming.

    That's literally all there is to it. And no, your body does not circumvent the laws of physics/thermodynamics. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume less, you lose. If these rules don't apply to you, you're either grossly miscalculating or you are suffering from a serious digestive disorder/medical issue. The former is more likely to be the case.

    "I am normally quite happy to complete surveys but this one makes me suspicious as it offers a cash incentive."


    I wonder who said that?


    Oh yeah... YOU DID . On your Slimfast post (irony alert here)....you would do the Slimfast questionnaire if it was legit - though you are naturally skinny?
    I can't believe you are asking this on here.

    Original Poster

    vardx

    I could save Cambridge university a bit of time. The answer is, some … I could save Cambridge university a bit of time. The answer is, some people eat way more calories than they need. Some people eat like a 6ft'5" athlete and wonder why only they gain weight.Understand that your metabolism is an individual thing. Every person has a varying energy requirement. Once you know your TDEE you can either gain or lose weight depending on your goals, so long as you have an idea of the calories you are consuming.That's literally all there is to it. And no, your body does not circumvent the laws of physics/thermodynamics. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume less, you lose. If these rules don't apply to you, you're either grossly miscalculating or you are suffering from a serious digestive disorder/medical issue. The former is more likely to be the case.



    this is not true. i do not feel hungry and this is unique. it is definately DNA. many years ago, i lost weight and could not put it back on no matter how much i stuffed myself. i ate all the heavy calories and when i couldn't eat any more, i drank sugary liquids in an attempt to put on weight but nothing happened!! luckily it did not last and i was able to put weight back on after about 6 months but i got so worried as i could not understand why i could not put weight on no matter how much i stuff myself.

    my dad can eat like a house and he never puts on weight and he doesn't do much to burn the calories. Some people always feel hungry, just like my labrador

    My son was put forward by his doctor for stem cell research as he was due a knee operation. They extracted bone marrow from him to grow in the lab. This stem cell 'bandage' was then to be used in the operation. the idea being that this would lead to a healthier 'mend' with I suppose less issues for the future. Unfortunately his stem cells and the other participants didn't process properly in the lab so couldnt be used. He was thanked for his participation and told that even though the initial process failed it would help the research as it is all part of the learning curve. He wasn't paid for any of this but was glad to partipate. This type of research is needed in order for us to move fowards and may not benefit the person doing it but will hopefully benefit future generations and maybe that persons children or grandchildren.

    If you start the process you need to follow it through so if financial reward is making you think twice perhaps you shouldn't start it? but good luck with whatever you decide.
    Edited by: "Blinks" 12th May

    Maybe u should think of it as ' nice to be asked to take part' ? have they talked you through it all from start to finish as it doesnt sound too bad from what i understand . Im sure if u need to travel they ll reimburse u... could just b your time your loosing but to think you could make some sort of difference by helping ? Pls let us know what u decide , either way its your choice

    Original Poster

    mrty

    "I am normally quite happy to complete surveys but this one makes me … "I am normally quite happy to complete surveys but this one makes me suspicious as it offers a cash incentive."I wonder who said that?Oh yeah... YOU DID . On your Slimfast post (irony alert here)....you would do the Slimfast questionnaire if it was legit - though you are naturally skinny?I can't believe you are asking this on here.



    this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking a DNA sample and keeping it. not to mention further investigations. it is not like filling in an online form. if it was just a questionnaire, then i would not have any issue.

    You can bet your GP will be taking a nice backhander.

    mutley1

    this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking … this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking a DNA sample and keeping it. not to mention further investigations. it is not like filling in an online form. if it was just a questionnaire, then i would not have any issue.


    Be careful. You might find yourself in the frame for an unsolved murder from the 1970s oO

    mutley1

    this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking … this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking a DNA sample and keeping it. not to mention further investigations. it is not like filling in an online form. if it was just a questionnaire, then i would not have any issue.


    Why are you so concerned about your DNA?

    Unless you're planning on mass crime spree and don't want to be caught.

    I can understand the I can't be bothered part, but the issue about DNA is just a poor alternative excuse for "I can't be bothered".

    mutley1

    this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking … this is different though as it is more personal since they will be taking a DNA sample and keeping it. not to mention further investigations. it is not like filling in an online form. if it was just a questionnaire, then i would not have any issue.



    ​ Damn...do you keep all your teeth, hair clippings, your nail and fingernail clippings, live in a Faraday cage and use burner mobiles? Thanks for the post, it's given me so much joy. I needed a laugh.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m496vy4fak06i7t/paranoia.gif?dl=0

    I don't know how to insert a picture, so it's a link. But I'm not paying you to click it so you won't know what everyone else is seeing. X)
    Edited by: "mrty" 12th May

    mutley1

    Wo....WTF! i thought only criminals get their DNA samples recorded for … Wo....WTF! i thought only criminals get their DNA samples recorded for prospertity. i don't know anything about baby tissue sample scandal. i don't follow the news except the financial news so i have no idea what is going on out there in the world.



    It was years ago a particular hospital asked the parents of i think it was cot death or still born children for tissue samples, it didn't become known until years later that tissue samples were the whole brain, heart etc, the trust was taken to court and the remaining remains given a proper send off.

    Original Poster

    thedvdmonster

    You can bet your GP will be taking a nice backhander.



    my husband says that the doctors would get a grant to do the research so they should pass some of this money on to participants. certainly their research would be sold on to pharmaceuticals for sure.

    although they claim that they are not being paid to do the research. research can only be done with a research grant.

    mutley1

    this is not true. i do not feel hungry and this is unique. it is … this is not true. i do not feel hungry and this is unique. it is definately DNA. many years ago, i lost weight and could not put it back on no matter how much i stuffed myself. i ate all the heavy calories and when i couldn't eat any more, i drank sugary liquids in an attempt to put on weight but nothing happened!! luckily it did not last and i was able to put weight back on after about 6 months but i got so worried as i could not understand why i could not put weight on no matter how much i stuff myself. my dad can eat like a house and he never puts on weight and he doesn't do much to burn the calories. Some people always feel hungry, just like my labrador



    Feeling hungry had nothing to do with anything. Your anecdotal evidence does not disprove scientific fact.

    Unless you have a digestive disorder, calories in / out is the absolute determining factor.

    as a person at the other end of the spectrum, I've been overweight since my teenage years and underwent a gastric band operation in 2000 in desperation to lose the weight. I spent 15 years virtually eating nothing just to maintain my weight at 9 stone, which at 5'2" is still classed as overweight. Last week I had a gastric bypass as the band had deteriorated over the years and in the last 18 months I put on around 10 stone, not due to overeating but just the fact that my body had been starved for so many years any goodness my body just retained. If you had the opportunity to take part in a study to help eradicate obesity I would encourage you to do it. Until you've been overwight yourself no one has the right to judge others or say simple facts like exercise more and eat less = simples! We are overweight not stupid. Even if you don't get paid, if research could find a quick and easy solution to some gene mutation or invention of a pill to prevent obesity then It's going to benefit thousands. Many people donate blood without payment.

    > However, there is no benefit to me to participate and there is no financial reward so I can't see why I should participate.

    I think that's a very selfish view. You come across as a very selfish person in most of your comments so I'm not sure if this reply is really worth writing, but the reason I suggest for participating is so you can give something back to society, and help other people in the future. If you want to turn it around, think about all the treatments you've received over the course of your life - they've all been made possible by people who've volunteered for studies like this. You're in a position to invest very little time and effort into something which will have a very real impact on people's (maybe even including your friends and your family's) health, and I think that's a pretty decent opportunity to give something valuable to society. If you really need a trivial sum of money to encourage you to do something which could immeasurably help people, it strikes me as a pretty poor reflection of your character.
    Edited by: "dxx" 12th May

    vardx

    Feeling hungry had nothing to do with anything. Your anecdotal evidence … Feeling hungry had nothing to do with anything. Your anecdotal evidence does not disprove scientific fact. Unless you have a digestive disorder, calories in / out is the absolute determining factor.



    Surely the whole point of research is to turn anecdotal evidence into scientific fact. There have been a number of things held as scientific 'fact' only until someone else came along and scientifically reasoned against it.

    Toptrumpet

    as a person at the other end of the spectrum, I've been overweight since … as a person at the other end of the spectrum, I've been overweight since my teenage years and underwent a gastric band operation in 2000 in desperation to lose the weight. I spent 15 years virtually eating nothing just to maintain my weight at 9 stone, which at 5'2" is still classed as overweight. Last week I had a gastric bypass as the band had deteriorated over the years and in the last 18 months I put on around 10 stone, not due to overeating but just the fact that my body had been starved for so many years any goodness my body just retained. If you had the opportunity to take part in a study to help eradicate obesity I would encourage you to do it. Until you've been overwight yourself no one has the right to judge others or say simple facts like exercise more and eat less = simples! We are overweight not stupid. Even if you don't get paid, if research could find a quick and easy solution to some gene mutation or invention of a pill to prevent obesity then It's going to benefit thousands. Many people donate blood without payment.



    I don't see anyone being judgemental. If I did, I'd be the first to call it. That's just being an ass. Stating facts, and calling out misinformation is something entirely different though.

    I have been overweight. I have been underweight. I have been as low as 3 percent body fat. That's not healthy either. Not that it matters, since it doesn't change anything.

    Like you, I'm a smaller person. As such, we have a comparatively low caloric requirement. The point you make is symptomatic of a change in your metabolic rate (the calories you burn) . It's not a fixed number. If you eat less it goes down. If you eat more and exercise more it will go up.

    It's important to understand that. A normal diet for an everage person, or even a caloric intake that would result in weight loss for most people may very well lead to weight gain in our case. It's unfortunate, yeah, because portions and foods come in a one size fits all standard... But we just need to understand what we NEED based on our BMR and energy expenditure.


    Edited by: "vardx" 12th May

    vardx

    I could save Cambridge university a bit of time. The answer is, some … I could save Cambridge university a bit of time. The answer is, some people eat way more calories than they need. Some people eat like a 6ft'5" athlete and wonder why only they gain weight.Understand that your metabolism is an individual thing. Every person has a varying energy requirement. Once you know your TDEE you can either gain or lose weight depending on your goals, so long as you have an idea of the calories you are consuming.That's literally all there is to it. And no, your body does not circumvent the laws of physics/thermodynamics. If you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume less, you lose. If these rules don't apply to you, you're either grossly miscalculating or you are suffering from a serious digestive disorder/medical issue. The former is more likely to be the case.



    Actually that is a rather simplistic view.

    Calorie consumption does not necessarily equal calorie uptake. It isn't difficult to think of ways in which the individual body might vary in the mechanisms and efficiencies involved in the processing of food.

    It isnt my area but it seems quite plausible and certainly worth looking at.

    mas99

    Actually that is a rather simplistic view.Calorie consumption does not … Actually that is a rather simplistic view.Calorie consumption does not necessarily equal calorie uptake. It isn't difficult to think of ways in which the individual body might vary in the mechanisms and efficiencies involved in the processing of food. It isnt my area but it seems quite plausible and certainly worth looking at.


    In fact, you are quite right, and it's a good point.

    Uptake can vary depending on a number of factors. Most notably Fibre, but also depending on an individual digestive system. Some people more efficiently extract all nutrients from their foods. The opposite of this being various malabsorption disorders, examples being those who can't process lactose or fructose. An example of fiber, or certain foods that people don't absorb the full amount of calories are almonds. Per 100 grams they have about 600 calories. That is true, however due to their cell structure and high Fibre content, and the fact that they aren't often fully chewed, we absorb on average 20 percent fewer calories than stated by weight.

    These examples are an exception however. The vast majority of people absorb close to 100 percent of what they consume. As evident by the epidemic of obesity.

    But you're quite right. A better way to have put it would be to say if you absorb more calories than you expend you gain weight.

    Why do you think you should be paid to take part in a volunteer study? If you don't want to do it, then don't. It's an academic study, likely carried out with limited government research grants. Whilst it's normal to be paid a small fee for expenses, it is not normal to expect a cash reward.

    As others have said, seems quite selfish that you would want paying. If you're not willing to take part perhaps you should direct your GPs attention to this thread. Seems a lot of people are willing and understand that the benefits of doing so go much further than monetary gain.
    Edited by: "stephb88" 12th May
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