Professor Lenny R. Vartanian

Professor Lenny R. Vartanian

Professor Lenny R. Vartanian


Ph.D., University of Toronto, Canada, 2004

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9385 8758
Email: Professor Lenny R. Vartanian
Fax: (02) 9385 3641

Office: Mathews, Room 1111

Research Summary

Research Areas: Psychology of eating and weight, including body image, self-regulation, social influences, and weight bias and discrimination.



  • Vartanian, L. R.., Herman, C. P., & Polivy, J. (2016). What does it mean to eat an appropriate amount of food? Eating Behaviors, 23, 24-27.
  • Reily, N. M., & Vartanian, L. R. (2016). The portion size effect on food intake is robust to contextual size information. Appetite, 105, 439-448.
  • Beames, J. R., Black, M. J., & Vartanian, L. R. (2016). Prejudice toward individuals with obesity: Evidence for a pro-effort bias. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22, 184-195.
  • Vartanian, L. R., Trewartha, T., & Vanman, E. J. (2016). Disgust predicts prejudice and discrimination toward individuals with obesity. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46, 369-375.
  • O’Brien, K. S., Latner, J. D., Puhl, R. M., Vartanian, L. R., Giles, C., Griva, K., & Carter, A. (2016). The relationship between weight stigma and eating behavior is explained by weight bias internalization and psychological distress. Appetite, 102, 70-76.
  • Vartanian, L. R., & Porter, A. M. (2016). Weight stigma and eating behavior: A review of the literature. Appetite, 102, 3-14.
  • Froreich, F. V., Vartanian, L. R., Grisham, J. R., & Touyz, S. W. (2016). Dimensions of control and their relation to disordered eating behaviours and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Journal of Eating Disorders, 4: 14.
  • Vartanian, L. R., Chen, W. H., Reily, N. M., & Castel, A. D. (2016). The parallel impact of episodic memory and episodic future thinking on food intake. Appetite, 101, 31-36.
  • Jiang, M. Y. W., & Vartanian, L. R. (2016). The role of memory in the relationship between attention toward thin-ideal media and body dissatisfaction. Eating and Weight Disorders, 21, 57-64.
  • Coleman, S. R. M., Zawadzki, M. J., Heron, K. E., Vartanian, L. R., & Smyth, J. M. (2016). Self-focused and other-focused resiliency: Plausible mechanisms linking early family adversity to health problems in college women. Journal of American College Health, 64, 85-95.
  • Fardouly, J., & Vartanian, L. R. (2016). Social media and body image concerns: Current research and future directions. Current Opinion in Psychology, 9, 1-5.
  • Herman, C. P., Polivy, J., Vartanian, L. R., & Pliner, P. (2016). Are large portions responsible for the obesity epidemic? Physiology & Behavior, 156, 177-181.


  • Vartanian, L. R. (in press). Development and validation of a brief version of the Stigmatizing Situations Inventory. Obesity Science and Practice, 1, 119-125.
  • Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P. C., Vartanian, L. R., & Halliwell, E. (in press). The mediating role of appearance comparisons in the relationship between media usage and self-objectification in young women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 39, 447-457.
  • Spanos, S., Vartanian, L. R., Herman, C. P., & Polivy, J. (2015). Personality, perceived appropriateness, and acknwoledgement of social influences on food intake. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 110-115. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.07.034
  • Azevedo, S. M., & Vartanian, L. R. (2015). Ethical issues for public health approaches to obesity. Current Obesity Reports, 4, 324-329. doi: 10.1007/s13679-015-0166-7
  • Keremeas, K., Vartanian, L. R., Herman, C. P., & Polivy, J. (2015). The effect of portion size and unit size on food intake: Unit bias or segmentation effect? Health Psychology, 34, 670-676. doi: 10.1037/hea0000160
  • Herman, C. P., Polivy, J., Pliner, P., & Vartanian, L. R. (2015). Mechanism underlying the portion-size effect. Physiology & Behavior, 144, 129-136. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.03.025
  • Vartanian, L. R., Spanos, S., Herman, C. P., & Polivy, J. (2015). Modeling of food intake: A meta-analytic review. Social Influence, 10, 119-136. doi: 10.1080/15534510.2015.1008037
  • Vartanian, L. R. (2015). Impression management and food intake: Current directions in research. Appetite, 86, 74-80. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.08.021
  • Fardouly, J., Diedrichs, P. C., Vartanian, L. R., & Halliwell, E. (2015). Social comparisons on social media: The impact of Facebook on young women’s body image concerns and mood. Body Image: An International Journal of Research, 13, 38-45.
  • Spanos, Spanos, S., Kenda, A. S., & Vartanian, L. R. (2015). Can serving-size labels reduce the portion-size effect? A pilot study. Eating Behaviors, 16, 40-42. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.10.007
  • Fardouly, J., & Vartanian, L. R. (2015). Negative comparisons about one's appearance mediate the relationship between Facebook usage and body image concerns. Body Image, 12,. 82-88. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.10.004


  • Spanos, S., Vartanian, L. R., Herman, C. P., & Polivy, J. (2014). Failure to report social influences on food intake: Lack of awareness or motivated denial? Health Psychology, 33, 1487-1494.
  • Black, M. J., Sokol, N., & Vartanian, L. R. (2014). The effect of effort and weight controllability on perceptions of obese individuals. Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 515-526.
  • Vartanian, L.R., Pinkus, R.T., & Smyth, J. (2014). The phenomenology of weight stigma in everyday life. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 3, 196-202. doi: 10.1016/j.jcbs.2014.01.003
  • Vartanian, L. R., Smyth, J. M., Zawadzki, M. H., Heron, K. E., & Coleman, S. R. M. (2014). Early adversity, personal resources, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47, 620-629. doi: 10.1002/eat.22313
  • Cavanagh, K., Vartanian, L.R., Herman, C.P., & Polivy, J. (2014). The effect of portion size on food intake is robust to brief education and mindfulness exercises. Journal of Health Psychology, 19, 730-739. doi: 10.1177/1359105313478645
  • Vartanian, L.R., & Fardouly, J. (2014). Reducing the stigma of bariatric surgery: Benefits of prodiving information about necessary lifestyle changes. Obesity, 22, 1233-1237. doi: 10.1002/oby.20721


  • Vartanian, L.R., Sokol, N., Herman, C.P., & Polivy, J. (2013). Social models provide a norm of appropriate food intake for young women. PLoS ONE 8 (11): e79268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079268
  • Vartanian, L.R., Thomas, M.A., & Vanman, E.J. (2013). Disgust, contempt, and anger and the stereotypes of obese people. Eating and Weight Disorders, 18, 377-382. doi: 10.1007/s40519-013-0067-2
  • Vartanian, L.R., & Dey, S. (2013). Self-concept clarity, thin-ideal internalization, and apperance-related social comparisons as predictors of body dissatisfaction. Body Image, 10, 495-500. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.05.004
  • Vartanian, L.R., & Fardouly, J. (2013). The stigma of obesity surgery: Negative evaluations based on weight-loss history. Obesity Surgery, 23, 1545-1550. doi: 10.1007/s11695-013-0918-y
  • Vartanian, L.R., & Smyth, J.M. (2013). Primum non nocere: Obesity stigma and public health. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 10, 49-57. doi: 10.1007/s11673-012-9412-9
  • Vartanian, L.R., & Silverstein, K.M. (2013). Obesity as a status cue: Perceived social status and the stereotypes of obese individuals. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, E319-328. doi: 10.1111/jasp.12052









Awards, Fellowships & Grants

2016-2018 Australian Research Council Discovery Project. The stress of obesity stigma: Testing a model of risk and resilience. LR Vartanian, RT Pinkus, KS O'Brien, JM Smyth, JD Latner ($288,000).

2014-2016 Australian Research Council Discovery Project. Attributions for food intake and the control of eating. LR Vartanian, CP Herman, J Polivy ($265,000).

2013-2015 Australian Research Council Discovery Project. Intergroup emotions and prejudice toward obese people. LR Vartanian, EJ Vanman, T Ito ($245,529).

2011-2013 Australian Research Council Discovery Project. How do social and environmental cues influence food intake? LR Vartanian, CP Herman, J Polivy ($246,621).

Current Research Students

Clancy Black

Jade Chan

Francesca Froreich

Natalie Reily

Samantha Spanos

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