Dr Phillippa Diedrichs

About me

I'm a research health psychologist at the ​Centre for Appearance Research ​specialising in body image and eating disorders prevention. I am passionate about conducting innovative applied research that has the capacity to make meaningful and measurable improvements to health.

My research and consultancy work focuses on the development, evaluation and dissemination of multi-level strategies to promote positive body image and prevent eating disorders, with an overall aim of creating environments that value diversity in appearance. This spans evidence-based body image programs in schools and community settings, through to social policy approaches such as championing greater appearance diversity in advertising and media images. ​

I am particularly interested in studying modifiable social and cultural influences on body image among children, adolescents and adults. This includes understanding the role that friends, peers, family, media, businesses, and gender, cultural and social norms play in shaping how happy and accepting people are of what their bodies look like and what their bodies can do. I seek to understand how we can positively change these influences, in order to promote healthy body image, gender equality, and acceptance of diversity of appearance on a local and global scale.

I believe that one of the best ways to translate research in to practice and to have a meaningful impact is through multi-stakeholder partnerships. I am fortunate to conduct collaborative research and consultancy with schools, universities, politicians, policy makers, charities, media, governments, and businesses in relation to body image research and advocacy, evidence-based programming and health promotion in the UK and overseas. 

My collaborators and clients have included the Dove Self-Esteem Project (Unilever), the British Government Equalities Office and All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, YMCA, and leading researchers from La Trobe University, Trinity University, Harvard University, Oregon Research Institute, Victoria University, Northeastern University, Griffith University, The University of Queensland, Deakin University, and the University of Gothenburg.

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with first class Honours at The University of Queensland, Australia in 2004. I then undertook a PhD in Health Psychology, examining the impact of increasing body size diversity in advertising on body image and consumer brand perceptions, at The University of Queensland and graduated in 2011. I relocated to Bristol in the UK to join the Centre for Appearance Research as a Research Fellow in 2010 and progressed to Senior Research Fellow in 2011. In 2015, I became an Associate Professor in Appearance Research.

Area of expertise

Research Interests:

Body image, eating disorder prevention, evidence-based interventions, weight stigma, dissemination and implementation research.

Editorial Board Member of:

  • International Journal of Behavioral Health and Medicine
  • Obesity Science and Practice
Reviewer for (selected):
  • Body Image
  • Health Psychology
  • British Journal of Health Psychology
  • International Journal of Eating Disorders
  • Clinical Psychology Review
  • Behaviour Research and Therapy
Other Engagements:

Media Coverage & Comment (selected):

Time Magazine, Vogue, The Times, The Guardian, BBC News, ITV News, The Australian, Fox News, Grazia, Daily Mail, Channel 4, Elle, Sky News, New York Fashion Magazine, Men's Health, Marketing Magazine, Huffington Post, Jezebel.

Awards:

  • 2011 Australian Psychological Society College of Health Psychologists Award for Excellent Higher Degree Thesis.
  • 2011 Seymour Fisher Outstanding Body Image Dissertation Award by Body Image: An international journal of research.
  • 2011 University of Queensland Graduate School Dean's Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence.​

My Publications