Another day, another study on how we can be healthier. Today’s installment: A study done by the sweet researchers at UC Berkeley, who probably wanted to give us another reason to second-guess our healthy eating endeavors, found out that smelling your food before you eat it can contribute to weight gain. Cool. Because we totally hate how pizza smells.
The study looked at three groups of mice: regular mice, “super smeller” mice and mice that couldn’t smell. They then put them all on a fatty diet (aka a “Burger King diet,” according to one researcher, though it remains unclear if the mice dined on actual Whoppers), and found that the mice that could smell really well gained the most weight, while the mice that couldn’t smell gained the least. The ones with an average sense of smell fell in the middle, but they doubled in size. What’s even crazier is that obese mice that lost their sense of smell after gaining weight had an easier time losing it.
TL;DR: Smell influenced whether the body stored food as fat or burned it as energy, and loss of smell protected against diet-related obesity. Obviously, this is just one study, and it was done on mice, so some perspective is needed before we all start wearing nose plugs as we eat our sad desk lunches.
Related: If this is where science is taking us, we have half a mind to take our DeLorean back in time, before we knew about things like FODMAPs and sugar addiction and gaining weight because we smell our food. Ignorance is bliss, no? Byeeeeeee.