Smelling high-calorie food for 2 minutes can help you eat less

The researchers discovered a direct connection between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. 

Does a whiff of pizzas, burgers or sandwiches entice you, but you refrain from eating them due to the high-calories it contains? Take heart, smelling these for longer than two minutes will make you feel satiated, suggest researchers, including one of an Indian-origin.

The study showed that ambient food scent can directly satisfy the belly because the brain does not necessarily differentiate the source of sensory pleasure.

“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,” said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US. 

The researchers discovered a direct connection between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. 

They also conducted a series of tests using a nebuliser that separately gave off the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items (cookies versus strawberries, pizza versus apples).

The findings, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, showed that participants exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more likely to want a cookie. 

However, those exposed for longer than two minutes did not find that cookie desirable and picked strawberries instead. 

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