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BSc minor Psychobiology of Eating Behaviour (WUPEB)

The minor introduces students to an unique and quickly expanding science area of the psychobiology of food choice/eating behaviour and its consequences for nutrition and health. The background for this minor is the increasing prevalence of obesity and other nutrition related diseases in the current industrialized world. An increased understanding of the psychology and biology of food choice may help to design strategies to promote
healthy eating behaviour.

Continue to an overview of the courses in this minor

Eating behaviour is studied from a nutrition and health perspective as well as from a consumer science and persuasion and communication perspective. The minor is at the interface of biological and behavioural sciences. It contains courses on the psychobiology of eating behaviour (course on nutrition behaviour), sensory science, consumer behaviour, principles of persuasion and communication, and nutritional neurosciences.

The courses provide students with lectures and practicals that aim at a thorough theoretical understanding of eating behaviour and the practical skills to study this behaviour in a scientific valid way. During these course students get exposed to novel research facilities such as the Restaurant of the Future, an advanced sensory science laboratory, modern ICT equipment to measure psychological and biological processes that determine behaviour and a 3T MRI scanner. The 3T MRI scanner is used to study processes in the brain that relate to eating behaviour, such as taste, smell perception and the regulation of food intake.

This BSc minor is a good introduction to continue with this field at Wageningen University in a MSc-programme, for example the MSc-programme Nutrition and Health specialization Nutritional Physiology and Health Status (Eating Behaviour).

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:

  • explain the fundamental sensory and psychological mechanisms that underlie food choice and eating behaviour;
  • explain the neurobiological processes involved in the regulation of food intake and the development of food preferences;
  • translate theories of consumer behaviour into practical and basic study designs to assess determinants of consumer behaviour with respect to food;
  • design and evaluate basic studies to assess processes that are involved in healthy eating behaviour;
  • perform basic studies on psychological and biological determinants of eating behaviour with the help of advanced measurement tools for consumer studies (like eye tracking), sensory studies, behavioural observation techniques, and neuroimaging facilities.

Target group

This minor is interesting for WU-students of the BSc programmes:

  • BBI Biology
  • BLT Food Technology
  • BDW Animal Sciences
  • BVG Nutrition and Health

Also for other BSc students in Biomedical Sciences, (Medical) Biology and/or Psychobiology, Dutch or international.

Assumed Knowledge

Basic knowledge about food and nutrition, basic statistics.

Language

English, except the restricted optional course HNE-20306.

Semester

First semester (period 1, 2 and 3)

Programme or thematic

Thematic minor