December 7, 2006

"It seems so simple - blocking the sense of smell and taste."

Now, here's a truly sad weight loss idea. Shouldn't we go in the opposite direction? Make very tasty dishes that are satisfying in smaller amounts.

15 comments:

kettle said...

I'm still not convinced that we need to 'treat' obesity.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this will work.

My friend's father permanently lost his sense of smell about a year ago after a bad reaction to some antibiotics. Aside from the non-olefactory sensations of salty and sweet, he cannot taste anything.

I asked if this made healthy eating easier. The answer: no. When all you can experience is texture, salt, and sugar, you become a big fan of Coke and potato chips.

Meade said...

"Make very tasty dishes that are satisfying in smaller amounts."

Exactly! And then design all computer screens, game boys and tv's to cause the viewer to periodically get up and dance, pump a little iron, elevate the heart rate, and break a healthy sweat.

Telecomedian said...

Some studies have shown that some smells are triggers to the appetite, like coffee. It might not work for everybody, but it could help those who have to grab a muffin or cookies with their morning java.

Dave said...

They already have something that dulls the sense of taste and smell. They're called cigarettes.

Curtis Edmonds said...

I was initially horrified at first, but there are at least two possible uses for the product. In terms of weight loss, one problem is that "healthy" and especially "diet" food can taste pretty disgusting -- just for example, diet milkshakes or protein bars. I wouldn't mind taking a hit off an inhaler if it kept Slim-Fast from tasting so nasty.

And then there's social settings. I was at a dinner party last week, and the hostess served broccoli. I hate broccoli. So I politely declined. She teased me about it all the way through dinner. If I'd have been able to numb the tastebuds just enough to choke down some broccoli, I might have done it.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

People have tried for years to make the food behave. The trick is getting the people to behave.

Ed said...

Meade, that's the whole idea behind the Wii.

Sanjay said...

Mmm, yes, very tasty dishes that are satisfying in smaller amounts. Then I can have sixty of them between meals. Like, mmmmm, doughnuts.

dick said...

I wonder about the long term affects of this - what if you miss something because you don't smell it and it affects your safety (smell of gas leaking, etc).

Reminds me of that old commercial about you can't fool Mother Nature!!

Harkonnendog said...

Something small and tasty, like a candy bar. Nobody ever has more than one...

Revenant said...

I'm still not convinced that we need to 'treat' obesity.

Given that there are millions of people in America who correctly believe themselves to be fat and would like to lose weight, it is pretty obvious that there is a need for good anti-obesity strategies.

Personally, I think the "make food taste and smell less good" idea is an excellent one.

Anonymous said...

Slow but steady wins the race! Eat less, drink lots of water, don't feel deprived!! Exercise and lifting weights help a lot!! I have lost 145 lbs. so far!

kettle said...

"Given that there are millions of people in America who correctly believe themselves to be fat and would like to lose weight, it is pretty obvious that there is a need for good anti-obesity strategies."

I meant that I'm not convinced it's a disease. I also remain unconvinced that a surefire strategy doesn't already exist.

Kayle said...

The Shangri-La "diet" (more an appetite suppressing technique than a diet) is based on some similar ideas: the body has a specific target weight (the "set point") and uses appetite to regulate food intake to attempt to reach the set point; the set point can be manipulated; eating tasteless calories forces the set point downwards.

In the Shangri-La diet, you consume 100-800 calories either as sugar water or a tasteless oil (such as extra-light olive oil), separated in time by at least 90 minutes from any other flavored food.

This blocking of smell and taste works on the basic ideas more directly.