If you’re often distracted by the smell of greasy foods at your workplace during snack time and end up giving to your cravings, here’s a little good news for you. Just a whiff of fried food and its ambient food scent may directly satisfy your belly. According to the study published in the journal, ‘Marketing Research’, smelling fattening food could possibly satisfy your cravings as the brain doesn’t necessarily 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,” added Biswas.
The researchers of the study observed a direct association between the length of exposure time and whether or not one will indulge. To assess the same, a series of tests were conducted using an inconspicuous nebuliser, which separately released the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items; healthy items like strawberries and apples and unhealthy foods like cookies and pizza.
As per the findings of the study, participants exposed to the smell of cookies for longer than two minutes picked strawberries instead of cookies as they didn’t find it desirable. Whereas, those exposed for less than 30-seconds were more likely to want a cookie. When the scent of pizza and apples were tested, the same results showed up.
Non-indulgent foods have little influence on what we order as they don’t give off much of an ambient scent.