Thinking away hunger | Tomorrow Today - The Science Magazine | DW | 28.10.2013
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Tomorrow Today

Thinking away hunger

When you think about food, it whets your appetite. At least, that's what we believed until now. But that's only part of the truth. If you think about food long enough, especially about actually eating it, then it can have the opposite effect.

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A research team has now proved that the reasons for this lie in a phenomenon known as 'habituation'. If it lasts long enough, imagining doing something such as eating a piece of cheese or a slice of cake can actually affect a person in the same way as doing it. The results could not only help people with eating disorders, but might even be used to help someone stop smoking.