Dr Suzanne Higgs of the School of Psychology describes, in 60 seconds her research into the psychology of diet.
Have you ever noticed that you eat more when you’re watching television?
I’m Suzanne Higgs and I work in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. We all have to eat and yet people vary so much in their likes and dislikes. Imagine all the cuisines in the world and the huge amount of foods that are available for us to eat. Why is that?
Diet is also an important influence on health and wellbeing. If we eat lots of high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients then this isn’t good for our health and it can lead to obesity. And obesity is associated to diseases such as diabetes and cancer. I’m interested in finding out why some people find it difficult to avoid eating high calorie foods whereas other people seem to find it easy, even though those foods are all around them.
My research has shown that psychology is an important influence on appetite. Learning, memory and attention are all involved in food choices and we are using our results to help people now control their appetite.
Dr Suzanne Higgs' profile