12:58pm Monday 01 June 2020

Can feeling guilty about food change how you eat?

A new RMIT University study is looking at the impact emotions like guilt and remorse can have on the way people view their body image and how this can affect eating habits.

As part of the study, RMIT researchers are seeking male and female volunteers over the age of 18 to complete a short online questionnaire that will assess eating and exercise habits, thought patterns and beliefs about shape and weight.

Primary investigator Jaimi Corsaletti said the rate of eating disorders in Australia was on the rise.

“In the past decade, the rate of disordered eating has doubled among Australian women aged 15 years and over,” she said.

“Five per cent of adolescent women will develop bulimia nervosa and 1 per cent will develop anorexia nervosa.”

The research aims to determine the extent to which both men and women experience emotions like guilt and remorse when simply thinking about eating foods that they might consider fattening, and whether thinking about food is associated with feeling overweight.

Past research has found many women experience an intense sense of guilt from simply thinking about eating a fattening food.

They also tend to feel physically larger or fatter, as though thinking about eating these foods has made them gain weight.

Miss Corsaletti hopes the information gathered by the study will provide considerable benefits for the wider community.

“The hope is that the information we gather can be used to develop better treatment and prevention methods for eating disorders,” she said.

Complete the questionnaire on Survey Monkey.

For information about taking part, interviews or comment: Jaimi Corsaletti, School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, 0413 035 408 or [email protected].

For general media enquiries: RMIT Science, Engineering and Health Communications, Angela Thompson, (03) 9925 9685.

Please Note: This is an Australian study and we are gathering Australian data. As such, you must be an Australian citizen to participate. 

Share on:

MORE FROM Mental Health and Behavior

Health news