Picture the melted cheddar dripping from a juicy burger, the cheese that stretches from a hot slice of pizza, the jelly that squeezes out of a soft doughnut that’s been ruthlessly split in two ... we bet you’re salivating already!
Now, scientists have found that looking at pictures of these kinds of foods multiple times is actually enough to satisfy your appetite.
Usually, when we look at pictures of food, it doesn’t take long for our mouths to water and our hunger to awaken.
However, a study from Aarhus University in Denmark, reveals some surprising findings about how images of food can actually help control appetite, since repeatedly looking at pictures of the same food was found to give people a sense of satiety.
Over a thousand people took part in the experiment, published in the journal Appetite, where they looked at photos of orange M&Ms either three or 30 times.
Those who looked at them repeatedly felt more satisfied, and so had less desire to munch on the chocolate confectionery.
The results were the same when the experiment tested the effect of photos featuring other colours of the candy.
The same was even true for the last stage of the analysis involving Skittles, candies that taste different depending on their colour.
One possible explanation for these findings lies in the areas of the brain stimulated by food.
Whether we imagine them or actually eat them, the same areas of the brain are activated.
In other words, appetite is determined by cognitive perception, according to PhD student Tjark Andersen from the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.
So, could looking at images of food 30 times be useful to help control weight gain?
While these conclusions are unusual to say the least, perhaps the best thing for your body image is to focus on feeling good about your body.
To do that, it can be helpful to eat healthy, balanced meals that are rich in vegetables, olive oil, nuts and legumes, in line with the recommendations of the Mediterranean diet. – AFP Relaxnews