nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Help! My Nose Is Making Me Fat

This is a strange study.  Apparently, if you are overweight, you're more likely to have a sharpened sense of smell for food.

I'm not sure whether to say "Well...duh." or that this is a significant finding.  See the BBC News (Nov 15) here for a popular report, or the original study here from the journal Chemical Senses (Nov 26, advance pub)

Our sense of smell is useful in detecting situations where we should be attracted (foods) or repulsed (corruption).  I'm sure this is intentional and helps us decide whether to pursue or avoid certain things, a survival advantage.

So, it's not surprising that among 64 volunteers, after eating, the overweight folks had better food discrimination in the satiated state than those who were thin.

For Onion Peelers,
Experiment 1 revealed that olfactory sensitivity was greater in the nonsatiated versus satiated state, with additionally increased sensitivity for the low body mass index (BMI) compared with high BMI group. Experiment 2 replicated this effect for neutral odors, but in the case of food odors, those in a satiated state had greater acuity. Additionally, whereas the high BMI group had higher acuity to food odors in the satiated versus nonsatiated state, no such differences were found for the low BMI group.

Are we going to see nose filters to treat those who are susceptible to overweight?

Doc D

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