A biopsychosocial view on eating behavior


  • H. Konttinen
  • G. Sproesser
  • A. Luszczynska
  • T. Radtke
  • M. Stok


Aims: A first aim of this symposium is to present innovative approaches regarding biopsychosocial influences on eating behavior. Second, it aims to target social influences both on a micro (within families) and macro level (within populations). Third, the current symposium aims to pay attention not only to eating behavior itself, but also to its consequences, such as health outcomes. Last, results that are generalizable to various populations (i.e., different age groups, different countries) shall be presented. Rationale: Unhealthy eating behavior and diet-related diseases are highly prevalent. For designing effective health promotion strategies, a comprehensive view on both biological, psychological, and social factors is needed. Summary: To address these aims, the current symposium draws on new concepts, cutting-edge methods, and rigorous designs. First, Hanna Konttinen will address biological factors, namely how genetic predispositions are related to BMI and restrained eating over seven years in a large sample with a wide age range. Second, Gudrun Sproesser will introduce the new concept of having a positive relationship with eating and show its validity in three countries as well as how this psychological variable is related to objective health parameters. The third and fourth presentations will target social influences on a micro level and present dyadic research including large samples of parent-child dyads. Specifically, Aleksandra Luszczynska will shed light on the relationship between mothers’ and children’s eating styles. Moreover, Theda Radtke will show dyadic effects of involving children in meal planning and preparation on vegetable consumption. Fifth, Marijn Stok will address social effects on a macro level and demonstrate in an experimental approach that when aiming to persuade people to eat healthier, less forceful language should be used. Last, the audience of the symposium will be engaged in small-group discussions about current topics regarding biopsychosocial influences on eating behavior.