Professor's Research Wins Swedish Award; Honorary Doctorate for University's Head of Psychology

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Byline: Claire Tolley

A UNIVERSITY professor has won international recognition for his research into the psychology of food.

Prof Steven Cooper received an honorary doctorate from the University of -rebro in Sweden.

The recognition was awarded to only four academics, all world leaders in their field of research.

As head of the psychology department at the University of Liverpool, Prof Cooper was instrumental in establishing a team of experts to research eating habits.

The collaboration between medical and psychology staff is one of only two teams in the country specialising in academic research into obesity, anorexia and bulimia.

Prof Cooper, 55, whose particular research has concentrated on obesity, said: "The project is looking into why we eat as we eat and have particular food preferences.

"I have also become interested in the problems related to food, such as obesity and eating disorders.

"The major problem is that there is an epidemic of obesity. Year on year there is an increasing incidence of the problem.

"It brings with it medical problems, for example, increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

"What we are fearful of is that if you project into the future and a much greater number of people are obese, then a lot more medical complications will follow so that health care costs are going to rise.

"The second thing is that we look at food choice and why people consume more than they need. …