UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Eating Disorders Research Group

The Eating Disorders Research Team aims to discover more about two strands of research.

Firstly, we wish to discover more about what causes eating and weight disorders to develop and what keeps them going. Secondly, we are involved in developing and improving treatment for eating disorders across the lifespan.

We aim to answer such questions as:

  • What do people with anorexia nervosa value about their disorder, and do patients’ perceived benefits and burdens of anorexia predict how well they will fare in treatment?
  • What role does attachment to caregivers and the ability to understand behaviours in terms of mental states (e.g. intention) play in family therapy for adolescent anorexia?
  • What role does oxytocin play in social abilities and body awareness in anorexia?
  • Does intermittent versus continuous calorie restricting differ in its impact on mood and symptoms of disordered eating?

Details of current projects:

  1. Ambivalence in anorexia: The predictive validity of perceived advantages and disadvantages on treatment outcome
  2. Attachment and mentalization in family therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa
  3. A systematic examination of the influence of oxytocin on social abilities and body awareness in anorexia nervosa
  4. The impact of an intermittent fasting diet on disordered eating symptomology and mood – does it differ for intermittent versus continuous calorie restriction?
  5. Risk factors of eating disorders in athletes
  6. Study of eating disorders in autistic femals (SEDAF)