Virtual Worlds versus Real Body: Virtual Reality Meets Eating and Weight Disorders

Giuseppe Riva, José Gutiérrez-Maldonado, Brenda K. Wiederhold, Brenda Kay Wiederhold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This Special Issue presents and discusses a collection of authoritative studies suggesting that computer-generated graphic environments—virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)—can integrate and extend existing prevention, assessment, and treatment protocols for eating and weight disorders (EWDs). The first section of the Special Issue showcases the potential of VR in supporting and improving health behavior change for the prevention and treatment of EWDs. The second section of the Special Issue includes different articles focusing on the use of VR and AR for assessing and improving attitudes, attention, and emotions. In conclusion, the contents of this Special Issue constitute a sound foundation and rationale for future research aimed at the design, development, and testing of computer-generated graphic environments—VR and AR—for integrating and extending existing methods for the prevention, assessment, and treatment of EWDs. In particular, this Special Issue provides strong preliminary evidence to justify future research to identify the most effective technological interventions, and the optimal amount of technological support needed, for supporting health behavior change, reducing body image and anti-fat attitudes, and extending existing cue-exposure and CBT protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-66
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • virtual reality, eating disorders, body image, obesity


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