Dieting and Self Image

Janet Polivy University of Toronto, Mississauga

Polivy_JanetEating behavior is increasingly relevant in a world where many people are overweight or obese. Janet Polivy developed an interest in behaviors associated with dieting and eating in grad school when she showed that dieters will overeat if they think they have broken their diets, regardless of whether or not they ate a high-calorie food. Polivy has also studied “False Hope Syndrome,” a mindset that people develop when they have unrealistic ideas of how quickly and easily they can change themselves. She has investigated the impact these ideas have on behavior and self-image in people who are attempting to make changes in their lives. Currently, Polivy is researching social influences on eating, food cues, and the effects of calorie labeling on the foods people choose and how much they eat.