The Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for Children & Adolescents, based at BC Children's Hospital, employs evidence-based therapies in the treatment of youth with eating disorders. As Research Lead for this program, I am examining the treatment outcomes of youth who attend treatment in the Eating Disorders Program. We believe that families are key resources for youth with eating disorders, and that it is important for parents/caregivers to be involved in the treatment process. Because families play such an important role in treatment of youth, I am also evaluating changes in well-being of parents/caregivers over the course of their child's treatment in the program. Other research interests include thought processes that are involved in the development and maintenance of eating disorders, and the overlap between eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Cognitive Distortions Associated with Imagination of the Thin Ideal: Validation of the Thought-Shape Fusion Body Questionnaire (TSF-B)
Frontiers in Psychology
Andrea Wyssen and Luka J. Debbeler and Andrea H. Meyer and Jennifer S. Coelho and Nadine Humbel and Kathrin Schuck and Julia Lennertz and Nadine Messerli-Bürgy and Esther Biedert and Stephan N. Trier and Bettina Isenschmid and Gabriella Milos and Katherina Whinyates and Silvia Schneider and Simone Munsch
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02194

Translating research into clinical practice across the developmental spectrum: Examining the clinical utility of the short treatment allocation tool for eating disorders
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Josie Geller and Jennifer S. Coelho and Suja Srikameswaran and Pei-Yoong Lam and Megumi Iyar and Mark L. Norris
DOI: 10.1002/eat.22654

Attitudes toward anthropometric measurements in youth: The role of eating pathology.
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement
Jennifer S. Coelho and Rachelle Pullmer and MacKenzie Robertson and Sheila Marshall and Pei-Yoong Lam
DOI: 10.1037/cbs0000047

Thought-shape fusion in young healthy females appears after vivid imagination of thin ideals
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Andrea Wyssen and Jennifer S. Coelho and Peter Wilhelm and Grégoire Zimmermann and Simone Munsch
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.03.010

Male Youth With Eating Disorders: Clinical and Medical Characteristics of a Sample of Inpatients
Eating Disorders
Jennifer S. Coelho and Aarti Kumar and Megan Kilvert and Lucinda Kunkel and Pei-Yoong Lam
DOI: 10.1080/10640266.2015.1027119

Mandating weekly weight gain in a day treatment program for eating disorders
International Journal of Eating Disorders
DOI: 10.1002/eat.22246

Over-evaluation of thoughts about food: Differences across eating-disorder subtypes and a preliminary examination of treatment effects
International Journal of Eating Disorders
DOI: 10.1002/eat.22207

Reactivity to thought-shape fusion in adolescents: the effects of obesity status
Pediatric Obesity
J. S. Coelho and M.-J. Siggen and P. Dietre and M. Bouvard
DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2012.00121.x

Cognitive distortions and eating pathology: Specificity of thought-shape fusion
Behaviour Research and Therapy
DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2012.04.003

Specificity of the failure to inhibit responses in overweight children
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.05.028

Effectiveness of family-based treatment for pediatric eating disorders in a tertiary care setting.
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Jennifer S. Coelho and Barbara Beach and Karina O'Brien and Sheila Marshall and Pei-Yoong Lam
DOI: 10.1037/cpp0000273

Cognitive and behavioral correlates of depressive symptoms in a community sample of adolescents
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Rachelle Pullmer and Shannon L Zaitsoff and Jennifer S Coelho
DOI: 10.1177/1359104519844803

Eating disorders in biological males: clinical presentation and consideration of sex differences in a pediatric sample
Journal of Eating Disorders
Jennifer S. Coelho and Tiffany Lee and Priscilla Karnabi and Alex Burns and Sheila Marshall and Josie Geller and Pei-Yoong Lam
DOI: 10.1186/s40337-018-0226-y

Pinch, cinch or step: Evaluating the effectiveness and acceptability of mid upper arm circumference measurements in adolescents with eating disorders
Eating Behaviors
Pei-Yoong Lam and Sheila K. Marshall and Geetha Devi Harjit and Jennifer S. Coelho and Jadine Cairns
DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.03.023

5. Eating disorders in adolescent males: clinical realities and current challenges
Handbook of nutrition and diet in therapy of bone diseases
M.E. Harrison and J. Coelho and M.L. Norris
DOI: 10.3920/978-90-8686-823-0_5

Susceptibility to cognitive distortions: the role of eating pathology
Journal of Eating Disorders
Jennifer S. Coelho and Catherine Ouellet-Courtois and Christine Purdon and Howard Steiger
DOI: 10.1186/s40337-015-0068-9

Psychiatric Comorbidity in Diagnosis
The Wiley Handbook of Eating Disorders
Jennifer S. Coelho and Lea Thaler and Howard Steiger
DOI: 10.1002/9781118574089.ch15

A Feeling You Can’t Let Go: Temporal Stability and Vulnerability to Thought–Shape Fusion in Eating Disorders
Cognitive Therapy and Research
Catherine Ouellet-Courtois and Jennifer S. Coelho and Adam S. Radomsky and Mimi Israël and Howard Steiger
DOI: 10.1007/s10608-015-9691-7

Food for Thought: Ego-dystonicity and Fear of Self in Eating Disorders
European Eating Disorders Review
Magali Purcell Lalonde and Kieron O'Connor and Frederick Aardema and Jennifer S. Coelho
DOI: 10.1002/erv.2349

Eating Disorders
Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology (3rd edition)

Acute versus repeated chocolate exposure: Effects on intake and cravings in restrained and unrestrained eaters
Journal of Health Psychology
Jennifer S Coelho and Chantal Nederkoorn and Anita Jansen
DOI: 10.1177/1359105312473787

Assessment of thought-shape fusion: Initial validation of a short version of the trait thought-shape fusion scale
International Journal of Eating Disorders
DOI: 10.1002/eat.22038

The role of cognitive factors in the development and maintenance of eating disorders - The concept of thought shape fusion:
DOI: 10.1159/000312565

Eating Disorders
Abnormal Psychology: Perspectives (5th Edition)

Cognitive distortions in normal-weight and overweight women: Susceptibility to Thought-Shape Fusion
Cognitive Therapy and Research
DOI: 10.1007/s10608-011-9372-0

Pre-exposure to high- versus low-caloric foods: Effects on children's subsequent fruit intake
Eating Behaviors
DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.11.004

Sweet temptation: Effects of exposure to chocolate-scented lotion on food intake
Food Quality and Preference
DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2011.06.008

Effects of exercising before versus after eating on dieting and exercise evaluations: A preliminary investigation
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
DOI: 10.1037/a0021736

The role of food-cue exposure and negative affect in the experience of thought-shape fusion
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2010.04.004

Eating Disorders
Abnormal Psychology: Perspectives (4th Edition)

Inaccessible food cues affect stress and weight gain in calorically-restricted and ad lib fed rats
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.12.003

Wake up and smell the cookies. Effects of olfactory food-cue exposure in restrained and unrestrained eaters
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.10.008

Eating behavior in response to food-cue exposure: Examining the cue-reactivity and counteractive-control models.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
Jennifer S. Coelho and Anita Jansen and Anne Roefs and Chantal Nederkoorn
DOI: 10.1037/a0013610

Effects of food-cue exposure on dieting-related goals: A limitation to counteractive-control theory
Jennifer S. Coelho and Janet Polivy and C. Peter Herman and Patricia Pliner
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2008.04.001

The role of familiarity on modeling of eating and food consumption in children
Sarah-Jeanne Salvy and Lenny R. Vartanian and Jennifer S. Coelho and Denise Jarrin and Patricia P. Pliner
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2007.10.009

Caloric restriction in the presence of attractive food cues: External cues, eating, and weight
Physiology and Behavior
DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.010

"Just looking at food makes me gain weight": Experimental induction of thought-shape fusion in eating-disordered and non-eating-disordered women
Behaviour Research and Therapy
DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2007.11.004

Effects of social contexts on overweight and normal-weight children's food intake
Physiology & Behavior
Sarah-Jeanne Salvy and Jennifer S. Coelho and Elizabeth Kieffer and Leonard H. Epstein
DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.06.014

Eating Disorders and Drug and Alcohol Problems
Clinical handbook of co-existing mental health and drug and alcohol problems

Selective carbohydrate or protein restriction: Effects on subsequent food intake and cravings
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2006.05.015

Eating Disorders
Abnormal Psychology: Perspectives (3rd Edition)

Anorexia Nervosa
Encyclopedia of Human Development

Chronic Dieting and Eating Behaviour
Comparative Program on Health and Society Lupina Foundation Wor king Paper Series


Effectiveness of a Day Treatment Program for Pediatric Eating Disorders
The Day Treatment Program at BC Children’s Hospital offers highly-structured, group-based treatment for children and adolescents requiring tertiary care for an eating disorder. It addresses the needs of youth requiring intensive care by providing a more structured environment than that offered in the out-patient clinic, while integrating principles of family-based therapy and providing youth and families with the opportunity to apply skills in the community. We are evaluating changes in eating disorder symptoms, psychological functioning, and well-being of youth with eating disorders who attend the Day Treatment Program at BC Children's Hospital. We are also assessing changes in family functioning over the course of treatment in the Day Treatment Program.

Clinical Features and Treatment Outcome in Male Youth with Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are stereotypically known as a “female” disease. However, a significant minority of individuals seeking treatment for eating disorders is male, and gender distribution in early-onset eating disorders appears to be more even across males and females. Yet, the majority of research focuses on female populations, and the literature on eating disorders in male youth is particularly limited. This project was designed to address the need for additional research on male youth with eating disorders, and to elucidate knowledge about the clinical and medical characteristics of this group in relation to female youth. As part of this project, we will (1) identify the clinical characteristics of a large sample of male youth who have received treatment over the past decade; and (2) compare changes in eating pathology, well-being, and physical status over the course of intensive eating disorder treatment in male youth with a matched female comparison group.

Project support from the Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation.


2012-2015 -Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant. Project Title: Vulnerability to bizarre beliefs: The role of embodied cognition. Co-investigators: Christine Purdon & Howard Steiger

2015-2018 -Swiss Anorexia Nervosa Foundation Research Grant. Project Title: Male Youth with Eating Disorders: Clinical Features and Treatment Outcome. Co-investigators: Pei-Yoong Lam, Sheila Marshall, Josie Geller

Research Group Members

Jaafar Aghajanian, Quality Analyst
Avarna Fernandes, Work Learn
Manraj Randhawa, Research Assistant
Jennifer Suen, Research Assistant
Fiza Syal, Research Assistant
Steve Tsai, Resident Research Rotation