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Watch out - simply smelling indulgent food could lead to weight gain

Hold your breath!

by: Chanté Felix | 19 Jul 2017
smell, senses,weight gain, fat, research,food, eat

My mother cooks a mean pot curry and when I say 'mean' it's a curry so aromatic that (often times) it can be smelt from outside our house. 

For loads of delicious, spicy curry recipes click HERE.

This alluring aroma has ushered me out of my bedroom and into the kitchen one too many times. I've never thought that this seemingly guilt-free pleasure could be more than just that. On the contrary. It turns out that every time I take whiff of my mother's spicy curry my body might just decide to store fat rather than burn it. Intrigued? Keep reading...

According to a study conducted by researchers at The University of California, Berkeley, smelling food before eating it is linked to weight gain. Yes, that means before actually eating your meal, just smelling it could already be causing you to pick up weight. 

But how?

An experiment was done using two groups of obese mice - the control group who had gene therapy to temporarily disable their sense of smell and the other group (the "super smellers") who had a heightened smelling ability. Both groups were fed the exact same high-fat diet and much to scientists' surprise those with no smelling ability ate the same amount of food as those who could smell.

The study found that while the super smellers doubled in size, those who could not smell lost weight. This led the researchers to believe that our ability to smell food might have an impact on whether the body stores or burns calories. 

One of the senior authors of this study, Andrew Dillin, said: “Sensory systems play a role in metabolism. Weight gain isn’t purely a measure of the calories taken in; it’s also related to how those calories are perceived. If we can validate this in humans, perhaps we can actually make a drug that doesn’t interfere with smell but still blocks that metabolic circuitry. That would be amazing.”

Even though this paper is one of the first of its kind, the researchers hope it could help those who suffer from eating disorders and those who struggle to lose weight. 

ALSO READ: 10 Healthy and warming Winter recipes your waistline will thank you for

Read more on: food24  |  research  |  fat  |  curry  |  eating  |  food news

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