Psychology of Eating in Adults and Children (PEACh)

We investigate the psychology behind human eating behaviour from the earliest stages of life, through childhood and adolescence and into adulthood.


Psychology of Eating in Adults and Children (PEACh) is a research theme that sits within the Applied Health Research Group, and the Aston Institute of Health and Neurodevelopment (IHN).   

Our research examines biopsychological, affective, psychopharmacological, cognitive, and social influences on eating behaviour and adiposity. Our projects exploit a wide range of methods, including experimental studies of responses to food stimuli and manipulations of eating behaviour, longitudinal designs, observational methods and intervention design and evaluation. 

We study pregnant women, the fetus, infants, children, adolescents, young and older adults, and our studies include healthy and clinical populations: for example obesity, autism, diabetes or mental health problems. 

Our interests span from basic physiological processes involved in eating (taste perception, neural mechanisms of appetite regulation and food choice etc), to cognitive processes (for example, biases of memory and attention), and social influences on food selection and intake (such as parent feeding practices, social norms, cultural effects). Our interventions are diverse, ranging from those based in community settings to e-health and apps.  

We are very active in public engagement with science. Some examples include: 

  • Vegetable Maths Masters, a free maths app using vegetables to improve the child’s maths skills and increases their exposure to vegetables at the same time (funded by the British Psychological Society). 
  • The Child Feeding Guide a digital resource for families and health care practitioners wanting evidenced based information about child feeding. Used by over 100,000 users and widely recommended throughout the NHS.   

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