• Overweight and obesity affect 1.9 billion adults worldwide. Recently, prominent clinicians and neuroscientists have suggested that this may be partly attributable to an addiction to food. The media have also been fast to adopt the term ‘food addiction,’ resulting in widespread public acceptance of the concept. It is not well understood however, how food addiction messages affect important aspects such as an individual’s belief in their ability to control their weight (self-efficacy), self-evaluation (e.g. body image, internalised weight bias), public attitudes towards overweight/obese persons (e.g. external weight-bias) or support for policies aimed at reducing the obesogenic environment.

    This project will employ social science methods, to understand how a “food addiction” explanation of obesity affects people’s self-efficacy, body image, weight-bias and policy support. The findings of this study will be used to inform clinical treatments, public health policies and government messages about healthy eating. This research is conducted with colleagues in the School of Social Sciences, Monash University.

    People Involved

    Adrian Carter