Want to reduce your portion size? Try eating food that smells good.
A study published Wednesday by the new journal Flavour has found that people took smaller bites of vanilla custard when it was accompanied by a more intense aroma.
"Smaller bite sizes are known to elicit weaker food sensations, lower flavor release and more satiation," writes lead auhor René de Wijk of the Netherlands' Top Institute Food and Nutrition. Smaller bites, then, could help make people more satisfied with their meal – and want to eat less. Moreover, he adds, "bite sizes become smaller as the consumer becomes satiated." Perhaps there's a virtuous cycle at work.
With this in mind, the researchers asked subjects to consume vanilla custard through a pump, allowing them to control each dose, or “bite,” that they delivered to themselves. Each bite was accompanied by a slight cream odor, a stronger cream odor or no cream odor at all. They found that the more aromatic the food, the smaller the bite – and the effect lasted beyond the first morsel.