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Imagined Smells Linked To Obesity

Can a vivid imagination lead to overeating?

Researchers at the John B. Pierce Laboratory and the Yale School of Medicine have found people who can vividly imagine smells of foods are at a greater risk of obesity.

Building on past research that used DJ Kavanaugh's theory of desire to show how appetite can be influenced by images of food, the researchers decided to test smell specifically based on the strong link between sense of smell and taste.

Researchers tested individuals by asking them to fill out questionnaires about imagining smells -- both food and non-food -- and compared their body masses.

Those with a greater imaginative sense of smell for both food and non-food items had a higher body mass index.

Read More:

  • Ability to Vividly Imagine the Smell of Food Connected to Obesity (Newsweek)
  • In obesity, heightened imagination for smell may drive food cravings, weight gain (Los Angeles Times)

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