Nutrition and Cognition (2015-2016)

This project team conducted the All You Can Eat (AYCE) Study to assess the impact of an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Duke Marketplace on freshmen women. Does the presence of an abundance of food make them more conscious of what they’re eating? Does this make them feel ashamed? Essentially, team members wanted to know whether or not the AYCE buffet could be a trigger for some eating disorder-like behaviors in these new college students, as they might be more susceptible to those thoughts with the prevalence of “Freshman 15” warnings.

Team members ran some analyses to compare how subjects felt after eating at Marketplace compared to elsewhere, and found discrepancies in the way people felt psychologically after their meals. Their data showed that Marketplace is a significant predicator variable for predicting levels of guilt, disgust, stress and happiness. The study also analyzed consumption habits, which indicated that subjects typically consumed more, were more full and over-ate at Marketplace.

The team also designed a new study on food preoccupation and received IRB approval.


Fall 2015 – Spring 2016

Team Outputs

Nandini Datta, Tatyana Bidopia, Samir Datta, Gaurie Mittal, Franca Alphin, Beate M. Herbert, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, Timothy J. Strauman, Nancy L. Zucker. 2020. "Internal states and interoception along a spectrum of eating disorder symptomology." Physiology & Behavior 230.

EHDx Talks (presentation by Holly Bischof and Kaila Perez at the Nasher Museum of Art, April 13, 2016)

Nutrition and Cognition Study (project website)

Having this exposure to Dr. Zucker and her team is incredible. I’ve enjoyed being on the research side of this question and I’ve learned a lot about the subject. This is something that personally intrigues me and has personally affected me, so I’m glad I have had this opportunity to investigate it further! —Abby Snyder

Being a runner, you learn that eating the right things is essential to making sure you are as competitive and healthy as possible. I suppose I never thought about it from the other perspective…you also need to eat right to do your best in the classroom. I’m excited to have this opportunity to learn more about how eating disorders or unhealthy eating habits could potentially affect your classroom performance, too.  —Dylan Newman

See earlier related team, Nutrition and Cognition (2014-2015).

Team Leaders

  • Gavan Fitzsimons, Fuqua School of Business
  • Nancy Zucker, School of Medicine-Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Holly Bischof, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Nicole Garcia Fischer, Public Policy Studies (AB), Global Health (AB2)
  • Dylan Newman, Economics (BS), History (AB2)
  • Kaila Perez, Statistical Science (AB)
  • Abigail Snyder, Economics (BS), Int Comparative Studies (AB2)
  • Kayla Speidel, Psychology (AB)