Dr. Janet Polivy - Academics

Soon, Dr. Polivy accepted a position at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, which she has held for over 30 years. She likes the large amount of student contact and smaller class sizes at the Mississauga campus. She describes one class she teaches as an “old fashioned seminar where we sit outside under the trees and talk.” Students can often be seen in Dr. Polivy’s lab, which is rumoured to have good food.

Dr. Polivy’s more famous experiments involve restrained eating. She and her colleague, Dr. Peter Herman, studied a technique termed the “milkshake preload.” For example, Herman and Polivy compared how much ice cream dieters and non-dieters ate after being fed either a small milkshake, a large milkshake, or no milkshake. Surprisingly, dieters ate more ice cream after eating a large milkshake than after eating a small one. Dr. Polivy calls this the “What the hell” effect, which she describes as thinking “What the hell, my diet’s already broken, so I might as well eat everything in sight.”