Mrs Rebecca Mckenna

Mrs Rebecca Mckenna

Research student

Career Summary


Rebecca McKenna is a PhD candidate in the School of Health Sciences. Rebecca was awarded her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition & Dietetics in 2011, and her Graduate Diploma in Counselling for Health & Social Care in 2016. Rebecca has been a director and co-director of two private practice businesses in Cairns and Newcastle before commencing her PhD study in personality traits for people with addictive eating behaviours.

Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics - University of Newcastle (2008-2011)

Graduate Diploma In Counselling for Health & Social Care - University of New England (2012-2016)

Phd Candidate (Nutrition & Dietetics) - University of Newcastle (2017 - current)


  • Addictive Eating Behaviours
  • Behaviour
  • Counselling
  • Dietetics
  • Food Addiction
  • Nutrition


  • English (Mother)

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
24/4/2017 -  Research Assistant University of Newcastle - School of Health Sciences

Teaching appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
26/7/2017 -  Sessional Academic University of Newcastle - School of Health Sciences


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (9 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Burrows T, Collins R, Rollo M, Leary M, Hides L, Davis C, 'The feasibility of a personality targeted intervention for addictive overeating: FoodFix', Appetite, 156 (2021) [C1]

Recent reviews have identified potential treatment targets for addictive overeating. These include: motivational interviewing, development of specific coping strategies for emotio... [more]

Recent reviews have identified potential treatment targets for addictive overeating. These include: motivational interviewing, development of specific coping strategies for emotional regulation and the use of harm minimisation strategies based on interventions for substance use disorders. However, there is very little experiential evidence. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of a personality-targeted motivational interviewing intervention in adults above the healthy-weight range with symptoms of addictive eating, to reduce symptoms of addictive overeating and improve dietary profiles. Individuals with overweight and obesity (BMI >25 kg/m2) with addictive eating as defined by the modified Yale Food Addiction Scale (mYFAS) were recruited to a three-session intervention held over 3 months. Sessions were conducted by telehealth and facilitated by dietitians. Fifty-two individuals were randomised to either intervention or control (mean age 43.6 ± 12.2yrs, mean BMI 36.7 ± 6.8 kg/m2, 96% female). At three month follow up, there were significant reductions from baseline (BL) for both groups in total YFAS 2.0 symptoms, however, these changes were not significantly different between groups (intervention BL 8.0 ± 2.7; 3-months 6.5 ± 3.8, control BL 8.1 ± 2.5; 3-months 6.9 ± 3.9, p > 0.05). At 3 months the intervention group significantly reduced their energy from non-core foods compared with control (intervention BL 48% energy/day; 3-months 38%, control BL 41% energy/day; 3-months 38%, p < 0.01). The FoodFix intervention provides insight to the development of future management interventions for addictive eating.

DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104974
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5
Co-authors Megan Rollo, Tracy Burrows
2021 Pursey KM, Collins R, Skinner J, Burrows TL, 'Characteristics of individuals seeking addictive eating treatment.', Eat Weight Disord, (2021)
DOI 10.1007/s40519-021-01147-y
Co-authors Tracy Burrows, Kirrilly Pursey, Janelle Skinner
2021 Collins R, Haracz K, Leary M, Rollo M, Burrows T, 'No control and overwhelming cravings: Australian adults' perspectives on the experience of food addiction', APPETITE, 159 (2021)
DOI 10.1016/j.appet.2020.105054
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Tracy Burrows, Megan Rollo, Kirsti Haracz
2021 Whatnall MC, Skinner J, Pursey K, Brain K, Collins R, Hutchesson MJ, Burrows TL, 'Efficacy of dietary interventions in individuals with substance use disorders for illicit substances or illicit use of pharmaceutical substances: A systematic review.', J Hum Nutr Diet, (2021)
DOI 10.1111/jhn.12871
Co-authors Kirrilly Pursey, Melinda Hutchesson, Katherine Brain, Janelle Skinner, Megan Whatnall, Tracy Burrows
2020 Collins RA, Baker B, Coyle DH, Rollo ME, Burrows TL, 'Dietary Assessment Methods in Military and Veteran Populations: A Scoping Review', NUTRIENTS, 12 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/nu12030769
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Tracy Burrows, Megan Rollo
2020 Yang Y, Chai LK, Collins R, Leary M, Whatnall M, Burrows T, 'Process Evaluation of a Personality Targeted Intervention for Addictive Eating in Australian Adults.', Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 10 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/bs10120186
Co-authors Tracy Burrows, Megan Whatnall
2018 Mckenna R, Rollo M, Skinner J, Burrows T, 'Food Addiction Support: Website Content Analysis', JMIR Cardio, 2 1-12 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.2196/cardio.8718
Citations Scopus - 9
Co-authors Tracy Burrows, Megan Rollo, Janelle Skinner
2017 Burrows T, Skinner J, McKenna R, Rollo M, 'Food Addiction, Binge Eating Disorder, and Obesity: Is There a Relationship?', BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, 7 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/bs7030054
Citations Scopus - 41Web of Science - 44
Co-authors Megan Rollo, Janelle Skinner, Tracy Burrows
McKenna RA, Rollo ME, Skinner JA, Burrows TL, 'Food Addiction Support: Website Content Analysis
DOI 10.2196/preprints.8718
Co-authors Janelle Skinner, Tracy Burrows, Megan Rollo
Show 6 more journal articles


Food addiction: why your mind matters

April 18, 2018

A world-first, personality-based online intervention for food addiction is being developed by a team* of dietitians, psychologists, neuroscientists, occupational therapists and health researchers.

Mrs Rebecca Mckenna

Contact Details