Fat people better at sniffing out food

Fat people seem to have a finer sense of smell than others but only when it comes to food.


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Published: Thu 18 Nov 2010, 10:28 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:58 AM

It is thought that an extra-keen sense of smell makes it harder for them to say no, which is why they pile on the pounds, says a new research.

Although overeating and too little exercise are largely to blame for the obesity epidemic, many experts believe that other factors are also at play, according to the journal Chemical Senses.

These could include smell, say the researchers from Portsmouth University, UK, reports the Daily Mail.

Psychologist Lorenzo Stafford tested how easily 64 men and women picked up different scents. Although you might expect the ability to sniff out food to be at its highest when we are hungry, the reverse was found to be true.

Stafford believes this could be the body’s way of detecting and rejecting foods that are no longer needed, regulating appetite to stop us from eating too much.

However, an extra-keen sense of smell may actually have the opposite effect, researchers say.

The overweight men and women tested struggled to pick out non-food smells, but excelled when presented with vials containing minute amounts of a herbal scent.

As smell is key to our sense of taste, this could actually make it difficult for them to stop eating, even when they are full.

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