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Aleksandrina Skvortsova receives LUF grant for Mind over Meal

'We can uncover new, non-pharmacological strategies to help individuals, especially those struggling with weight los', reveals psychologist Aleksandrina Skvortsova about her LUF grant for the project 'Mind Over Meal: Unraveling placebo effects on hunger, food-related brain activity and food choice in normal-weight individuals and overweight individuals seeking to lose weight'. Read Skvortsova's answers.

What do you find so interesting about this research?

I find this research fascinating because it explores the untapped potential of the placebo effect in managing hunger and promoting healthier food choices. There is a lot of evidence that placebo effect can be very effective in many conditions, such as pain, itch, fatigue. Surprisingly, it has been much less investigated in the context of hunger. By understanding how our expectations can influence hunger and food-related brain activity, we can uncover new, non-pharmacological strategies to help individuals, especially those struggling with weight loss. Additionally, investigating the underlying brain mechanisms provides a deeper insight into how our brains respond to food cues and how these responses can be modulated.

What will you do with the money?

Leiden University Fund / Elise Mathilde Fonds awarded me with 35. 000 euro for this research project. These money will be spent on practical expenses, such as participant fees and consumables. Additionally, I will hire a research assistant who will help me with the data collection.

Will it help us in practice later on?

Absolutely. This research has the potential to inform practical strategies for managing hunger and improving food choices without relying on medication. By understanding the placebo effect on hunger and food-related behaviors, we could develop psychological interventions or behavioral therapies that leverage positive expectations to help individuals make healthier eating decisions. For those struggling with weight loss, these findings could lead to new, effective methods to regulate appetite and reduce the consumption of calorie-dense foods, ultimately supporting better weight management and overall health.



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