Advancing Research on Emotional Well-Being and Regulation of Eating

June 23, 2022


Advancing Research on Emotional Well-Being and Regulation of Eating with Dr. Elissa Epel 

Given the rising levels of global stress, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, loneliness and mental health problems are on the rise, adding to the burden of chronic diseases. Most health-oriented research takes a harm-reduction approach, i.e., identifying and mitigating problems to reduce disease burden. Understanding and promoting emotional well-being (EWB) may yield another important strategy to accomplish this and significantly improve people’s health. Little has been known about how to best increase EWB in ways that also improve health.

Dr. Epel is principal investigator of a new research network to develop resources and a multidisciplinary community of scholars focused on researching EWB—its links to physical health, interventions that could best increase it, and the processes that explain how EWB impacts health. In addition to this work, Dr. Epel will discuss how stress and compulsive eating are interrelated, a longtime research focus for her. She and her team have developed interventions, including mindfulness-based training modules, as adjuvant components of treatment. Dr. Epel will review findings and lessons learned from clinical trials, the lab, and the field.