Scientists at Yale University have discovered that a person’s ability to imagine the smell of food correlates with their body mass index (bmi).
Thin people are less able to imagine the smell of food. “Compared to imagining a favourite place or singing a song to ourselves people vary greatly in their ability to imagine smells” said Dr Barkha Patel at the John B Pierce laboratory.
“If people with higher body weights report a heightened ability to imagine odours this may intensify the food craving experience through the creation of more vivid images of flavours and aromas“.
The results of her experiments, where participants were asked to evoke various objects and activities and rate how vivid they were, showed that Normal weight people had a poorer ability to imagine doors compared to overweight and obese people.
Obesity researchers have identified cravings as a crucial part of why people become fat.(Lack of self-control perhaps?)
“Cravers create mental images of the desired substance that are immediately pleasurable but which exacerbate their awareness of the deficit. This causes a vicious circle of desire, imagery, and planning to satisfy that desire” said Dr Patel.
Most of us are affected by cooking smells if we’re hungry but for these obese people they don’t even need to have the olfactory cues. They just think about food and they’re ready to start (over)eating.
If they drink as well that could make it worse as having an aperitif makes you eat more.