Photo of Chris McLeod

PhD researcher’s article on eating habits published in academic journal

Chris McLeod, a final year PhD student, has had his paper on portion size and meal context published in the journal Appetite.

Chris McLeod, a final year PhD student, has had his paper on portion size and meal context published in the journal Appetite.

Entitled ‘The influence of expected satiety on portion size selection is reduced when food is presented in an ‘unusual’ meal context’, Chris worked on the article with Dr Gemma Witcomb and Dr Lewis James from Loughborough University and Professor Jeff Brunstrom from Bristol University.

Chris was drawn to the research area as he believes that due to a rise in people living with obesity it is even more important to understand the fundamental factors that underpin eating behaviour.

In the UK, people tend to finish the portion that they serve themselves around 90% of the time. This self-served portion size is heavily influenced by a wish to ensure that hunger is alleviated for a certain period of time afterwards. We then remember how well this food and portion staved off hunger and this then informs our food and portion selection the next time we eat the food – this is known as ‘expected satiety’.

The research looks at how expected satiety and portion size are affected when food is presented in unusual contexts; for example, when pasta is served at lunch vs when it is served at breakfast. This is an important area to study as it is becoming more common in restaurants to see unusual foods for certain mealtimes served, for example, burritos and waffles with chicken and maple syrup served as a breakfast food.

On getting his research published, Chris said: “I feel incredibly grateful to have published a paper. Academia is full of top-class researchers who have progressed our understanding of the world bit by bit for many years.

“I am very appreciative that I’ve been given the platform, supported by great supervisors and collaborators, to be able to contribute another piece to the massive jigsaw puzzle that is understanding human eating behaviour.”

Chris hopes to have a few more papers published in 2020 and his goal is to stay in academia and continue his research into human eating behaviour.

You can read the article here.