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Why Having a Nose for Food Makes You Eat More

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Why Having a Nose for Food Makes You Eat More
Photo © Studio/photocuisine/Corbis

How much you eat and the size of your bites is directly correlated to the aroma of food. The more intense the aroma of a particular food is, the smaller your bites. These are the findings of a new study designed to analyze how aroma affects bite size. The study was led by René A de Wijk, a researcher from Top Institute Food and Nutrition in The Netherlands.

Previous studies have demonstrated that how much we eat depends on how familiar the food is. This new data suggests that by manipulating food aromas we may be able to trick our bodies into eating less. Wijk’s team of researchers pumped vanilla custard into the mouths of on 10 volunteers, six males and four females, ranging from 26 and 50 years old. As this occurred, a separate pump was used to deliver various degrees of aroma to the nose.

Aroma intensity affected every bite the volunteers took. Stronger aroma resulted in smaller bites and vice versa. "Our human test subjects 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),” Wijk explained.

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