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What if looking at pictures of food kills your appetite?



A study suggests that being exposed to a food image on our phones at least 30 times could quell our hunger.

It doesn’t seem to make sense, but Danish researchers from the University of Aarhus argue that watching a food picture more than 30 times induces a feeling of satiety.

Their results were published in the aptly named journal Appetite.

Smaller portions

Thus, 1,000 volunteers were shown photos of food. They concluded that seeing the image of a dish at least 30 times would give the feeling of satiety and lead to the taking of smaller portions. Conversely, seeing it only 3 times encourages more appetite.

How to explain it? Why Doctor? teaches us that the way we think about food affects appetite.

Other experiences

Tjark Andersen, lead author of the study, explains:

You will receive a physiological response to something you have only been thinking about. This is why we can feel fully satisfied without eating anything.

Subsequent experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of repetitive viewing with certain criteria. Thus, M&M’s of identical and then variable colors were shown. Or replace these M&M’s with Skittles candies, the latter having the particularity of offering a taste that varies according to the color.

Regardless of the nature of the test, participants seeing the images more than thirty times preferred smaller amounts of candy. It remains to determine the element at the origin of the feeling of satiety.

What interest for the fight against overweight?

This discovery, although it deserves further investigation, could play a role in the fight against overweight and obesity.

Tjark Andersen gives a concrete case:

Imagine if you are developing an application based on Google Search. Suppose you want pizza. You open the app. Choose a pizza – and it displays lots of photos of the dish as you imagine yourself eating it. That way, you might get a feeling of satiety and maybe just stop craving pizza.

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