Multidisciplinary approaches to eating behaviour

Eating behavior plays a fundamental role in our health and wellbeing. Therefore, comprehensive understanding of the complex interplay of factors driving food intake and related behaviors is crucial in addressing challenges of various lifestyle-related diseases. Our main goal is to understand deliberative and automatic processes involved in the homeostatic and hedonic regulation of food intake and eating behaviors. In addition, we are interested in to understand key dietary, psychobehavioral and physiological factors involved in the regulation of food intake and weight management. We do also specifically seek to find evidence on how psychological distress and its alleviation in adults, as well as nutrition education of children and adolescents affect psychological wellbeing, dietary habits and related behaviors.

Our research team is highly multidisciplinary combining expertise in human nutrition, physiology, psychology, psychiatry, physics and consumer and sensory science. The sensory and eating behavior laboratory at the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition along with the facilities at Department of Applied Physics (UEF), VTT and Kuopio University Hospital provide excellent facilities to perform experimental and intervention studies to assess the complex processes regulating food intake and eating behavior using multimodal approach.

Group leader Leila Karhunen, Email leila.karhunen(at)uef.fi  Tel. +358 40 3552 776

Research focus (research projects)

Deliberative and automatic processes involved in the homeostatic and hedonic regulation of food intake and eating behaviors (Multimodal Assessment of food Reward: insights into Individual Appetite control (MARIA), Understanding and measuring food reward (FoodReward), STOP DIABETES – knowledge-based solutions (StopDia), Vital Selfie – Business from Consumers’ Desire of Vitality at All Ages, From sensory to product experiences: platform for studying unconscious reactions of consumers (NeuroMetSens))

Dietary, psychobehavioral and physiological factors involved in the regulation of food intake, weight management and psychological wellbeing (Effect of psychological interventions on lifestyle, health-related risk factors and psychological distress (Elixir), Foods for weight management: Satiety and long-term regulation of weight and food intake (ELIPA), Tailored engineering of dairy based protein polymer structures and effects on satiety signals (TEPESS), Consumers on weight management market (KULUMA))

Nutrition education of children and adolescents (Tools for feeling good - nutrition education for school-aged children and adolescents, KASVIS-SAPERE)