Ashley Gearhardt, phd
university of Michigan
Ashley Gearhardt, Ph. D. is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. While working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University, Dr. Gearhardt became interested in the possibility that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. To explore this further, she developed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to operationalize addictive-like eating behaviors, which has recently been linked with more frequent binge eating episodes in clinical populations, increased prevalence of obesity and patterns of neural activation implicated in other addictive behaviors. Dr. Gearhardt also investigates the impact of certain components of the food environment, such as food advertising, on obesity risk through the use of multi-method approaches (e.g., neuroimaging, eye tracking). She is currently directing the Food and Addiction Science and Treatment (FAST) lab to further evaluate whether an addictive-like mechanism contributes to certain types of problematic eating behavior.