Tuesday, November 16, 2010

With great fatness comes a great sense of smell

Posted By on Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

click to enlarge Could our ability to smell be tied to our weight?
  • Could our ability to smell be tied to our weight?

If you can smell the Folger's plant when you're not downtown or Gates Barbecue as you zoom by State Line on 435, then you might want to check the scale.

The BBC reports that a new study from researchers at the University of Portsmouth suggests that overweight people have "a far heightened sense of smell," as compared to skinny people.

The British study, designed to look at the correlation between hunger and our ability to smell, also revealed that our sense of smell gets better after a full meal, rather than when we are hungry. Dr. Lorenzo Stafford, the lead researcher, explained to the BBC that he believes the results of the study suggest that our olfactory system might be tied into our issue with obesity:

"It could be speculated that for those with a propensity to gain weight, their higher sense of smell for food related odors might actually play a more active role in food intake.
This could go a long way toward explaining why you can't escape the smell of Cinnabon in an airport or McDonald's fries in your car after you've hit up the drive-thru. We may just be hardwired to the smell of shame. 

[Image via Flickr: vsorathia]

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