According To This Study, Simply Smelling Food Can Help You Fight Cravings

By on February 12, 2019
gtt

One major aspect of the human endeavour is our battle against junk food. You crave it and then you fight it, there’s no in-between. Many have failed in the battle against carbs. While the battle rages on, a recent study has instilled new hope.

According to this study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, the brain is unable to differentiate between sensory cues like taste and smell. This means just smelling your junk food (and not eating it) is enough to trick your brain in to thinking you’re satiated. Your ‘on-the-weekends-I’m-a-cookie-monster’ avatar will beg to differ.

Coming back to the point, those of us really struggling with junk food cravings, go ahead. Pick up that nasty, greasy burger and take in a nice, long whiff. Hold it, and release.

Lauthor Dipayan Biswas, PhD, marketing professor at the University of South Florida College of Business was quoted as saying,

“Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods.”
“In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children’s and adults’ food choices than restrictive policies,” he added.

Turns out there’s a direct connection between the amount of time you’re exposed to the smell of a certain dish and you’re willingness to actually have it. After studying the effects of this on participants, Biswas found that people exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more likely to eat it.

Those who were exposed to the smell for more than two minutes found it easier to resist. The same result was achieved with pizza versus apples.

According to Science Daily, there’s something called ambient scent in foods, and its presence and absence decides, for us, food we consider delicious junk or non-indulgent. The absence of ambient scent in non-indulgent food means we don’t attach a sense of reward to it.

Alternatively, we attach the same sense of reward to junk food that more often than not is not healthy for us.

This study also goes on to answer the question of why some of us choose to smell food before eating it: may be it’s our wish to attach a sense of reward to the healthy food choice we’re making.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *