Psychology of Eating

Name of Award

APDC Curriculum Development Award

Date Awarded

Summer 6-1-2016



Project Description

Anaya Mitra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, was awarded $1,200.00 for the development of a new course, Psychology of Eating. This course will benefit and enrich the academic experience of our students – both for within and outside of the Psychology Department. The Psychology department is trying to increase the number of electives it currently offers, and developing this course would support this departmental endeavor. In addition to being a possible elective, this course will be designed with a laboratory component, and thus will also increase the variety of lab courses the Psychology department has to offer. Finally, in line with the American Psychological Association guidelines (Aug 2013), this course successfully promotes the discipline of Psychology as a hub science, in that it integrates a variety of perspectives when discussing the issue of food and food intake. This class has already generated a good deal of excitement among students and faculty in other departments, such as Public Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science. This course will explore the psychological, cultural, environmental and biological factors that influence our eating behaviors. Topics that we will cover include the neurobiological regulation of energy intake and expenditure, how we regulate and fail to regulate our food intake, eating disorders (over and under-eating), issues of stress and comfort eating, the global obesity epidemic (and how it may look different in different socioeconomic settings), economic factors which influence who has access to what food, the influence of media on our food choice, and cultural norms and differences in our eating behaviors.

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