BSc minor Psychobiology of Eating Behaviour (WUPEB)

The minor introduces students to the rapidly expanding trans-disciplinary area of the 'psychobiology of 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 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 Mood Rooms, virtual supermarket, Eye-tracking facilities, an advanced sensory science laboratory, modern ICT equipment to measure psychological and biological processes that determine eating behaviour and a 3T MRI scanner. The 3T MRI scanner is used to study processes in the brain and gastrointestinal track that relate to eating behaviour, such as taste, smell perception, the regulation of food intake and digestive processes.

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

NOTE: This minor contains a course in the restricted optionals with a maximum number of students participants, HNH30506 Principles of Sensory Science. If you want to follow this minor as a 'Bijvakstudent' or 'Exchange student', make sure you also choose an alternative course (and register this course in the form) in case you cannot participate in this course. More information about a course with a maximum number of participants can be found in the overview of the courses in the minor.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • explain basic mechanisms that influence eating behaviour from a physiological, sensory, consumer, and psychological perspective;
  • explain how biological, sensory, consumer-level and psychological processes interact to influence eating behaviour;
  • clarify challenges to changing eating behaviour and how these may be addressed by taking into account biological, sensory, and psychological processes;
  • integrate knowledge from this minor to design ways to promote healthy and sustainable eating behaviours in a transdisciplinary manner;
  • design and evaluate basic studies that assess processes underlying behavioural change, the promotion of healthy eating behaviour for preventative health;
  • critically reflect on and discuss scientific literature on eating behaviour.

Target group

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

  • BBI Biology
  • BFT Food Technology
  • BAS 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




First semester (period 1, 2 and 3)

Programme or thematic

Thematic minor