The high prevalence of obesity worldwide results, at least in part, from the obesogenic food environment. Foods that can be consumed quickly promote overconsumption. Furthermore, lifestyle and the abundance of palatable foods may also promote overconsumption through mindless or distracted eating (eating without attention). However, the mechanisms by which quick and distracted eating lead to reduced satiation are unknown.
This research project focuses on the mechanisms linking oro-sensory exposure, mastication and attention to satiation, and relates these lab measures to daily eating behaviour. Gaining such an understanding may ultimately lead to the development of products or strategies that enhance healthy choices and eating behaviour. The research is structured in three interrelated workpackages. You will work on the 1st workpackage, led by the Division of Human Nutrition, which deals with the effects of oro-sensory signalling and mastication on satiation. Outcome measures are cephalic-phase responses and peripheral and central (functional MRI) biomarkers of satiation. The 2nd workpackage investigates how distraction disturbs processing of oro-sensory signals and impacts decisions to stop eating using functional MRI and biomarkers of satiation. In the 3rd workpackage, the neural outcome measures from both other workpackages will be linked with daily eating behaviour.
The selected candidate will work within a public-private partnership funded by the Dutch government under the Food, Cognition & Behaviour grant scheme. Other partners involved include the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (Radboud University Nijmegen) and a major international food company.
You can apply online until 18th march 2015