Imagine Eating that Cheeseburger

Imagine Eating that Cheeseburger
It’s no secret that thinking about the smells and flavors of desserts and other fattening foods make people hungry. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, led by Carey Morewedge, found that people who imagined eating a tasty food reduced their craving for it. They asked people to imagine eating 30 M&Ms, and then measured how many they ate when given a bowl of the candies. Those who imagined eating the M&Ms ate fewer candies, compared to those who didn’t imagine eating the candy. The researchers didn’t report how long the effect lasted, or whether eating imagery worked equally well in lean and obese people. Food imagery might be an effective method for cutting down on food expenses at parties (i.e., pretend beer and pizza). (Science, 330: 1530-1533)

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