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22 March 2012

Food aromas may help you lose weight

Strong smells lead people to take smaller bites of food, which suggests that aroma might be used as a way to control portion size, new research suggests.

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Strong smells lead people to take smaller bites of food, which suggests that aroma might be used as a way to control portion size, new research suggests.

The study included volunteers who ate a custard-like dessert while they were exposed to different scents. The stronger the smell, the smaller the participants' bites of food, the Dutch researchers found. The study was published in the journal Flavour.

The volunteers were able to control how much dessert was fed to them by pushing a button. "Bite size was associated with the aroma presented for that bite and also for subsequent bites [especially for the second-to-last bite]," study leader Dr. Rene de Wijk said in a journal news release. Perhaps, in keeping with the idea that smaller bites are associated with lower flavour sensations, there is an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount of flavour experienced, de Wijk explained.

The findings suggest that manipulating the aroma of food could lead to a 5% to 10% decrease in food intake per bite, according to the researchers. Combining aroma control with portion control could trick the body into thinking it was full after consuming a smaller amount of food, an approach that could help people lose weight, they said.

However, while the research is intriguing, it does not prove that preparing aromatic foods will help anyone lose weight.

Read more:
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More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about food portions.


(Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
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