Cognitive and emotional influences on eating behaviour: a qualitative perspective

Helena Wehling, Joanne Lusher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Considering that individuals who are within a healthy weight range may experience different thoughts about food to those who are already overweight or obese triggers the need to understand the nature, challenges, and coping strategies of food-related thinking styles in this population in relation to those who are either overweight or obese. Analysis of 6 semi-structured qualitative interviews with individuals who are either at risk of being overweight (body mass index [BMI] = 23-24.99), or above a healthy weight (BMI ⩾ 25), revealed 3 overarching themes: (1) Why am I all about food? (2) Jekyll and Hyde, and (3) Emotional attachment to food. These findings highlighted a link between dieting and negative thinking, which foster unhealthy eating patterns. Therefore, intuitive eating may offer a useful alternative to re-establish a healthier relationship with food.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition and Metabolic Insights
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019


  • Attitudes
  • Eating
  • Emotional influences
  • Food-related cognitions
  • Qualitative


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