Project: The effect of Emotion Regulation Strategies on positive and negative affect in children and adolescents with obesity
Recent decades have been characterized by a global growing overweight epidemic (1). This situation forms a major public health challenge. Besides policy strategies, also the scientific community has an important responsibility in the research domains prevention and treatment.
Research in our own teams has demonstrated that specifically chronic stress exposure is in current society more the rule than exception and can be seen as one of the new pathways leading towards increased body fatness  specifically in those that had a history of social stress .
Consequently, combining the Ghent expertise on both the food environment and the psycho-social environment will lead to cutting-edge research steps in answering the important question: how to understand and regulate change in those behaviours that have a crucial role in weight increase and weight loss? Given recent research [8-10], it is obvious that behaviour change is an utopia if it is not trained to use when stressed.
Emotion regulation (ER) is therefore regarded as the most important health related skill in the overall framework of indicated and secondary prevention and treatment of obesity, rather than solely focusing on the direct energy balance (diet and activity).
This multidisciplinary project aims to prove that studying emotion regulation for restoring the psychological and physiological homeostasis is a promising progress for a profound understanding of the obesity problem. We aim to exceed current expertise on obesity with various complementary study designs: longitudinal, case-control and a randomized-clinical-trial using emotion regulation training. Evidence will come from psychological and physiological outcome measures.
Find the poster of this project here: Poster_emotionregulation