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  • You know the feeling.

  • You finish a full meal and are like

  • I'm never eating again.

  • But then, out comes a beautiful piece of cake.

  • And, well….

  • You said you were full!

  • Not for dessert.

  • Turns out, you really can make "room" for dessert.

  • And there's a scientific reason why.

  • The thing that gives you room for dessert is called "Sensory-Specific Satiety".

  • Satiety! It's one of those words.

  • That's Dr. Barbara Rolls.

  • She's a nutritional scientist, and she's been studying Sensory-Specific Satiety since the 80s.

  • It's a really important, basic, and very reproducible finding about human eating behavior.

  • Dr. Rolls says it's why we often misunderstand that "full" feeling.

  • So, to see it in action, we ran an experiment similar to ones she's done before:

  • We gave six people a giant plate of mac and cheese...

  • Wow, that is a lot of macaroni and cheese.

  • - ...and told them to eat until they were full. - I'm done.

  • And then, for the second course, we gave themmore.

  • Nooo!

  • I'm not happy with this experiment.

  • - Then, on a different day, we did it all over again. - I'm getting full.

  • Except this time, after they were full, we gave them ice cream.

  • Ice cream!

  • Yes.

  • Yeah, I'm done.

  • On average, after they said they were full on mac and cheese, each person could eat just one more ounce of it in their second serving.

  • I got a solid two bites in.

  • But when we gave them ice cream instead, somehow they could eat three times as much.

  • They made "room" for dessert.

  • The experiment shows that when you feel full, it's not necessarily that your stomach is physically full.

  • It's more about how interested you are in eating more.

  • Sensory-specific satiety is that change in how much you like a food, how much of a food you want to eat, as you're eating it.

  • And to really show that, we asked our participants to rate, on a scale of ten, their interest in mac and cheese before their first course...

  • Probably like a six.

  • Five.

  • I love macaroni and cheese, so... 25.

  • ...and after.

  • I can't eat anymore.

  • Probably like a one.

  • Yeah, zero.

  • They all started pretty interested in the mac and cheese.

  • But after their first course, they were less interested.

  • Even less so after their second helping.

  • But we also asked them, throughout the experiment, to rate their interest in ice cream.

  • And even after getting full on mac and cheese, they stayed interested.

  • The only thing that made them lose interest in ice cream, was having ice cream.

  • "I've just had enough of that food, I want something else" is really what Sensory-Specific Satiety is.

  • And that instinct has a purpose: It's meant to keep us healthy.

  • So, it's a good thing; we're omnivores and we need to eat a variety.

  • So, it's gonna help to guarantee that you're gonna eat the variety of nutrients that you need.

  • It also means that there are certain situations where it makes us extra susceptible to overeating.

  • It can backfire, though, of course, because if we are presented with a variety of foods, it encourages us to keep eating.

  • Ever eat too much at a buffet or on Thanksgiving?

  • Yeah, me too.

  • That's because, when we have a lot of variety, we stay interested in eating for longer.

  • This change in the appeal of foods during a meal keeps us going, keeps us eating.

  • In another experiment, Dr. Rolls gave different four-course meals to two groups:

  • One where every course was the same food, and one where every course was very different.

  • The people with different foods ate 60% more.

  • Sensory-Specific Satiety is why you'll eat more french fries with condiments than without.

  • Why you'll eat more ice cream if you get multiple flavors than just one.

  • It's also why kids will eat more veggies if they can eat a variety of them together than if they only have one option.

  • That's interesting.

  • And it only took me eating a ridiculous amount of mac and cheese to learn it.

You know the feeling.

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A2 US Vox cheese ice cream sensory mac cream

Why you always seem to have room for dessert

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    minami.kuo posted on 2020/01/26
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