The Eastern Michigan University Eating and Addictive Behaviors Lab is comprised of EMU faculty and students with diverse interests in addiction, eating behavior, bariatric surgery, weight stigma, and other weight-related research. In addition to conducting studies internally, we have also worked on projects with collaborators from a number of health facilities, including Brighton Hospital, Henry Ford Hospital, and St. Vincent Bariatric Center of Excellence.Our purpose is: 1) to better understand the causes and maintaining factors of weight-related disorders, 2) to better understand the relationships between eating behaviors and various types of addiction, and 3) to better understand factors promoting weight loss, healthy weight maintenance, and weight-related psychological well-being in a variety of populations.
We have a special interest in the nature and development of substance use disorder subsequent to bariatric surgery. Our interest was sparked during an early study when we observed that a high proportion of patients in inpatient substance abuse treatment reported a history of bariatric surgery. Much of our work since then has focused on this area of study. In 2012, two members of our lab met with other researchers at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study to discuss the problem of alcohol abuse after weight loss surgery. This story can be read here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/07/alcohol-abuse-after-weight-loss-surgery/
Our current projects focus on other areas, as well, including cognitive effects of obesity and bariatric surgery, the problem of weight regain after bariatric surgery, the role of compassion in mitigating disordered eating and addictive behavior, the role of weight bias in mate selection, and the validity of the constructs of "food addiction" and "gaming addiction."