Eating and Health Group

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The aim of the Eating and Health Group in the Psychology Department is to develop knowledge of the psychological factors that influence healthy and unhealthy eating, and to understand how these factors may sometimes lead to clinically significant disorders of eating.

The group’s research programme uses a combination of behavioural, psychopharmacological, and qualitative methodologies, and its goals are strongly translational: the development and evaluation of eating interventions are central to their work.

For this reason, members have played a leading role in the establishment of a University-wide initiative to advance Internet-based interventions, The Centre for e-Health, Internet Research and Practice (CHiRP).

Current research

  • Promoting healthy eating
    We all know so much about healthy eating, so why don’t we eat more healthily? Katherine Appleton’s research centres on unweaving the complex web of motivations underlying healthy and unhealthy eating, and on using this knowledge to devise and evaluate the effectiveness of psychological strategies to promote better nutrition. Additionally, her research identifies how health, wellbeing and cognitive performance can all be affected by nutrition.
  • Eating well in an online world
    Many young people have untreated – or unacknowledged – problems with eating: How can we reach out to them? Sarah Williams uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods to identify and deliver the kind of online information that can support young people with eating issues. Her work with online support groups, pro-anorexia communities, and the i*eat charity, allows her to assess the acceptability and efficacy of online behavioural self-management interventions for healthier eating and other aspects of wellbeing.