The work of the Appetite and Obesity group encompasses a broad spectrum of basic and applied research, addressing behavioural and psychological processes that govern appetite expression at a variety of levels from the molecular to the whole person.  Our key research themes include:

  • Identification, development and assessment of functional foods to improve the diet and health of consumers.
  • Influence of food advertising on food choice, consumption and bodyweight in children.
  • Development of food preference and weight gain in infants.
  • Psychopharmacology of appetite.
  • Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical agents for the treatment of obesity.
  • Development and evaluation of interventions, including weight management programmes, for the treatment of obesity and interventions to increase healthy eating and physical activity in children.
  • Attention, emotion and motivation: cognitive and neurophysiological factors in appetite and the hedonic evaluation of taste and flavour, learned and unlearned controls of food intake.
  • Over-consumption and addictive behaviours.
  • Social influences on eating behaviour and perceptions of obesity.

The Group is the founding member of the Liverpool Obesity Research Network (LORN).  LORN is a research network of obesity units and research laboratories based across the University of Liverpool, University Hospital Aintree and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital Trusts.

Key Projects

  • Development of novel foods for appetite control using innovative processing technologies to alter food structure (SATIN; FP7 project)
  • Investigating the role of commercial weight management providers in primary care (NIHR funded)
  • The effect of dried fruit on energy intake, appetite control and weight management (Funded by Californian Prune Board)
  • The effect of Resistant Starch fibre combination on appetite expression and food intake (Funded by Ingredion)
  • The acute effect of protein- and fibre-infused beverages on hunger, satiety and food intake (Funded by Coca-Cola)