Department of Psychology
I am an experimental psychologist with a research interest in eating behaviour.
My current aims are two-fold:
i) To understand how variety in our food environment affects our eating behaviour.
Variety is a key feature of our current food environment. Many food characteristics contribute to food variety including texture, flavour and colour. Importantly, we know that, the more variety that is in our food, the more we eat. This is helpful when it relates to foods like fruit and vegetables but unhelpful when it relates to foods like confectionary. Indeed, the higher the food variety in someone’s overall diet, the higher their body mass index (BMI).
I am interested in how food variety interacts with other features of the modern food environment and using this information to help consumers incorporate variety into their diets for the benefit of their health.
Wilkinson, L., Hinton, E., Fay, S., Rogers, P. & Brunstrom, J. (2013). The ‘variety effect’ is anticipated in meal planning. Appetite. 60, 175-179.
ii) To investigate disinhibited eating and how it can be managed.
Disinhibited eating is a term used to describe a ‘general propensity to overeat’. Overeating may occur in response to negative emotions, the tempting smell of foods or a variety of other reasons. I have previously shown that attachment orientation (a measure of inter-personal functioning) and in particular attachment anxiety (fear of abandonment) is a good predictor of disinhibited eating and, in turn, body mass index (BMI).
I am particularly interested in whether attachment orientation and disinhibited eating can account for why some people experience poor outcomes following weight-loss intervention (e.g., bariatric surgery)? As well as whether we can help individuals to manage disinhibited eating by manipulating attachment orientation?
Wilkinson, L., Rowe, A., Robinson, E. & Hardman, C. (2018). Explaining the relationship between attachment anxiety, eating behaviour and BMI. Appetite 127, 214-222.
Oldham-Cooper, R., Wilkinson, L., Hardman, C., Rogers, P. & Brunstrom, J. (2017). Presenting a food in multiple smaller units increases expected satiety. Appetite. 118, 106-112.
Wilkinson, L., Rowe, A., Sheldon, C., Johnson, A. & Brunstrom, J. (2017). Disinhibited eating mediates differences in attachment insecurity between bariatric surgery candidates/recipients and lean controls. International Journal of Obesity. 41(12), 1831-1834.
Hardman, C., Christiansen, P. & Wilkinson, L. (2016). Using food to soothe: Maternal attachment anxiety is associated with child emotional eating. Appetite. 99, 91-96.
Wilkinson, L., Ferriday, D., Bosworth, M., Godinot, N., Martin, N., Rogers, P. & Brunstrom, J.
(2016). Keeping Pace with Your Eating: Visual Feedback Affects Eating Rate in Humans. PLOS ONE. 11(2), e0147603
Wilkinson, L., Rowe, A. & Heath, G. (2013). Eating me up inside: Priming attachment security and anxiety, and their effects on snacking. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 30(6), 795-804.
Hinton, E., Brunstrom, J., Fay, S., Wilkinson, L., Ferriday, D., Rogers, P. & de Wijk, R. (2013). Using photography in ‘The Restaurant of the Future’. A useful way to assess portion selection and plate cleaning?. Appetite. 63, 31-35.
Brunstrom, J., Burn, J., Sell, N., Collingwood, J., Rogers, P., Wilkinson, L., Hinton, E.,
Maynard, O. & Ferriday, D. (2012). Episodic Memory and Appetite Regulation in Humans. PLoS ONE. 7(12), e50707
Wilkinson, L., Hinton, E., Fay, S., Ferriday, D., Rogers, P. & Brunstrom, J. (2012). Computer-based assessments of expected satiety predict behavioural measures of portion-size selection and food intake. Appetite. 59(3), 933-938.
Wilkinson, L., Rowe, A., Bishop, R. & Brunstrom, J. (2010). Attachment anxiety, disinhibited eating, and body mass index in adulthood. International Journal of Obesity. 34(9), 1442-1445.