We’ve heard some unusual ways to fight junk food cravings, but this one takes the cake…

Good food smells may make you salivate, but while a whiff of fried food may entice you to order junk food, if you breathe it in for longer than two minutes you’re more likely to be content with fruit.

This is according to a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Researchers found that ambient food scent can satisfy the belly because the brain doesn’t differentiate the source of sensory pleasure.

“Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods,” said 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.”

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Food scents can satisfy the belly because the brain doesn’t differentiate the source of sensory pleasure

The smell of freshly baked cookies

Biswas conducted a series of tests using an inconspicuous nebuliser that separately gave off the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items – cookies vs. strawberries and 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. He had the same results when the scent of pizza and apples were tested.

This means that the next time a cookie craving strikes, we could spend two minutes in the bakery section of a grocery store, breathe deeply and leave with a punnet of strawberries.

A high-fibre diet keeps the doctor away

Source: University of South Florida (USF Innovation) via www.sciencedaily.com

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