I am an Associate Professor holding a combined position at the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies and at the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry / Psychology of the Erasmus University / Medical Centre.
In this role, I am involved in teaching activities, and coordinate and supervise research on eating behaviour and eating disorders within Generation R.
My background is in psychology and epidemiology. I started my academic career with a broad initial interest on social inequalities that has evolved into a focus on (problematic) eating behaviours in childhood. Using data from population-based birth cohorts like Generation R (www.generationr.nl) and the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (http://www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/index.html), I examine the aetiology, developmental course and consequences of eating disorder(symptoms) and obesity. I am interested in questions like: Why do some children develop a distorted body image while others do not? Why do some children have a poor control over their food consumption, resulting in structural overeating and sometimes even binge eating? Can parents use certain child rearing strategies to promote adequate control over eating and other healthy eating behaviours? And, what are consequences of problematic eating habits? Answers to these questions will provide opportunities to prevent and treat obesity and eating disorders at an early stage.
• Overweight and obesity in infancy and childhood
• Eating behaviour (disinhibited, emotional and external eating)
• Eating disorders
• General and food-related parenting
• Relation of eating disorders / obesity with emotional and behavioural problems
• Neurocognitive predictors of eating behaviour and disorders
• Generation R Study Group
• Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
• Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
• University College London, Institute for Child Health, UK
Research achievements and recognitions
• Comenius early career award of the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations
• Career grants awarded together worth nearly €800.000
• Member of Young Erasmus (www.eur.nl/english/research/young_erasmus/
• More than 45 publications, including various articles as lead author in high impact journals like International Journal of Obesity, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Pediatrics.