If you are a food junkie but worried about putting on weight, try whiffing the meal! A new study has found the flavour of food can satisfy the belly, thus preventing you from ordering the high-calorie meal.
According to the study published in — Marketing Research — this is possible because the brain doesn’t necessarily differentiate the source of sensory pleasure.
“Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods,” says lead author Dipayan Biswas, PhD, a marketing professor at the University of South Florida College of Business.
“In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children’s and adults’ food choices than restrictive policies,” added Biswas.
He discovered a direct connection between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. He conducted a series of tests using an inconspicuous nebuliser, that separately gave off the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items (cookies vs strawberries, pizza vs apples).
He found that participants exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30-seconds were more likely to want a cookie. But those exposed for longer than two minutes didn’t find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries instead.
Since non-indulgent foods don’t give off much of an ambient scent, they’re typically not connected with reward. Therefore have little influence on what we order.
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