Vartanian Research Group

School of Psychology
University of New South Wales


Our research focuses on the psychology of eating and weight.  Particular topics of interest include body dissatisfaction, dieting and eating behaviours, and weight stigma.


Body dissatisfaction

Body image concerns are increasingly prevalent among women and men.  One of the key predictors of body dissatisfaction is the extent to which individuals internalise societal standards of attractiveness (thinness for women, and muscularity for men).  We are interested in identifying factors that predict who is likely to internalise the societal standards of attractiveness, as well as determining whether those factors can be modified as a means of reducing or preventing body dissatisfaction.


Weight stigma

Negative attitudes towards obese people are widespread, and obese people experience discrimination in virtually every aspect of their lives.  Weight-based discrimination is associated with a range of negative consequences for the stigmatised individuals.  Our research focuses both on developing a better understanding of what underlies people's negative attitudes towards obese individuals, and on examining the impact that weight-based discrimination has on obese individuals.


Eating behaviour

Unhealthy eating is a key public health issue, particularly because it can contribute to poor nutrition and weight gain.  Although people’s food intake is in part driven by how hungry they are and by how much they like the food they are eating, there are other "external" factors influence people's food intake.  Our research seeks to understand the mechanisms through which these external factors influence what people eat.


Want to learn more?

Check out our publications or send us an e-mail.