At a time when 38% of the world’s population is obese or overweight, and when food images are booming, viewing food images can be the foundation of a new weight loss diet.
Lose weight by looking at pictures. While many studies have shown that exposure to images of food increases appetite and promotes food intake, a recent study from Aarhus University in Denmark suggests that frequent consumption of imagined foods can conversely facilitate satiety and reduce food intake. However, exposure must be controlled.
During their study their results were published in the journal appetiteThe scientists sought to stimulate and influence the participants’ eating behavior through visual exposure to the food.
By manipulating the color and variety of several sweets, they demonstrated that three exposures stimulate the appetite while thirty exposures satiate.
The first group had to look at M&M pictures three times. A second group watched them thirty times. Despite being exposed to M&M’s, the second group was less willing to consume it than the first group.
The same brain regions are triggered when we eat or when we think we are eating. And according to Tjark Andersen, one of the study leaders, “This is why we feel completely satisfied without eating anything.”