Professor Marion Hetherington

Professor Marion Hetherington


Professor Hetherington is a Biopsychologist with interests in human appetite across the lifespan. She has a BSc (Hons) first class from the University of Glasgow, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford (St Hugh’s and Green Colleges). She also has a postgraduate certificate in education (Primary) and a DipEd from Glasgow.

She was a Fulbright Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a Fogarty International Fellow at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. She was a Lecturer, Senior lecturer and Reader in Psychology at the University of Dundee, then chair in Psychology, University of Liverpool and Futures Professor of Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University. She came to Leeds as a Professor in Biopsychology in 2008. She has established an infant lab within the Human Appetite Research Unit, School of Psychology.  Her interests include researching human appetite across the lifespan. Research in the HARU infant feeding group involves characterising appetite expression from the early years of life and there is also a specialist interest in loss of appetite in older adults.

In particular, the group is interested in the development of food preferences in infancy, the expression of hunger and satiety cues and how caregivers respond to these; also the group has developed an interest in the loss of appetite in ageing specifically how to manage malnutrition at the end of life. Her research interests fall predominantly within the Health and Wellbeing as well as the Successful Ageing Grand Challenges in the School of Psychology.


  • REF2021 Lead for UoA4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
  • REF Lead, School of Psychology
  • Thomas Ward Endowed Chair in Psychology

Research interests

Our research on portion size has been developed to assist parents with decisions on how much to offer their children as snacks, and meal items.  We have recently been involved in a consultation exercise with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) who have developed guidance on portion control for adults based on the UK Government's EatWell guide. The Find Your Balance resources are based on estimating portion sizes of food groups to achieve the recommended 2000 kcal per day.

The BNF have produced the following resources which can be downloaded from the site below:

  • Find your balance one page simple guide
  • Find your balance booklet with example portion sizes and an example of portions for meals and snacks across a day
  • Find your balance full portion list with details of portion sizes for a range of foods as well as more information and FAQs



  • BSc (Hons) first class, Psychology, University of Glasgow
  • PGCE (merit), Primary Education, Jordanhill College of Education
  • DipEd (merit), University of Glasgow
  • DPhil, Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

Professional memberships

  • Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) Past President 2009-2010
  • British Nutrition Society
  • Association for the Study of Obesity

Student education

Professor Hetherington teaches the Eating Disorders module (PSYC3532) and leads the Theory and Intervention in Food and Nutrition module (PSYC5907) taught at MSc level.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>