Fatter people gain weight because they are more sensitive to the smell of food than thinner people, researchers claim.
A study published in the journal Chemical Senses tested people’s sensitivity to the smell of food both before and after eating.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK found that, contrary to popular belief, people have a heightened sense of the aroma of food after they have eaten and are full, rather than before they have eaten and are hungry.
When further studies were made, the team found that people with higher body mass indexes had an even greater sensitivity to the smell of food than others.
Dr. Lorenzo Stafford ran two separate experiments on a total of 64 men and women aged 18-49. The subjects were tested for their sensitivity to food smells by using an odor of mixed cooking herbs, gradually decreasing the mixture’s potency until individuals could no longer sense it.
It was unclear why full people were more sensitive than those who had eaten, but Stafford said it could be the body’s way of ensuring that only foods needed to maintain a proper energy balance were eaten.