How To Resist Junk Food

If you’re trying to lose some weight, or simply think you eat too much junk food, new research in the Journal of Marketing Research claims a new way to resist — smell the offender for two minutes.

During their experiments, researchers found a surprisingly strong relationship between scents and food. People who sniffed indulgent foods, like pizza or cookies, were less likely to choose unhealthy foods than those who smelled more nutritious options, such as apples and strawberries.

This was confirmed by pumping scents into environments like a school cafeteria. In one instance, the scent of pizza was introduced and 21% of food purchases were unhealthy choices like chips, hot dogs and fried chicken. But on a different day, when an apple scent was released, nearly 40% of the choices were unhealthy — a bit more than the approximately 36% on a scent-free control day.

The results of this and similar experiments suggest an appetizing smell can pique a craving, but given enough time, it can also be enough to satisfy it. Or as the researchers wrote, “We propose that this occurs because scents related to an indulgent food satisfy the reward circuitry in the brain, which in turn reduces the urge for actual consumption of indulgent foods.”

So the next time you’re tempted by the allure of junk food, maybe you can get by with a few deep breaths.

Taken from ” The Surprising Way to Resist the Lure of Junk Food” by Jamie
Ducharme ( ).

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