Vividly imagining odors linked to obesity

odors linked to obesityEven without freshly baked goods in arm’s reach, if you vividly imagine their smell you’re more likely to be overweight, says a new study.

To better understand food cravings, researchers presented their findings at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior. Researchers believed that one’s ability to imagine odors could be strongly linked to food cravings and the longevity of cravings. The study was based on Kavanagh’s Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire, which suggests cravings can be triggered by the senses – through, smell and sight.


Participants in the study were asked to imagine food and non-food items visually along with their odor. They were requested to document their results in a questionnaire. The researchers found those who could vividly describe odors in both food and non-food items were more likely to have a greater body mass index.

While previous studies have found that food cravings are higher among those who are obese, this is the first study to link the participants ability to imagine odor with being overweight.

Researchers suggest individual approaches to identify one’s factors for weight gain is required to combat obesity.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.