-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- 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
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
The study was published March 20 in the journal
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 flavor sensations, there is
an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount
of flavor experienced, de Wijk explained.
The findings suggest that manipulating the aroma of food could
lead to a 5 percent to 10 percent 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.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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