Food addiction and Sensory Influences on Food Intake

The sensory experience you get from eating food plays a large role in the amount of food you eat, this is because it activates the reward centre of your brain. This can lead to scenario’s of food addiction so as to keep activating this reward centre. Taste is just one of these sensory experiences that can trigger the reward system and we are now seeing more insight into the other senses that can also play a role and how all of these influence your food intake. Such as sight, smell and texture and how these aren’t just active whilst you are eating, but also before and afterwards.   Seeing food can for example influence your consumption through portion sizes, or ingrained behaviour such as needing to clear your plate. Or how you might keep food with a good texture, or feeling in your mouth longer, reducing your consumption.   There are strong psychological and emotional components in food addiction, as well as chemical ones – learning what sensory arousal is going on for clients who feel they have food addiction is important – learning mindfulness skills around eating may help to slow down the experience of eating, and provide greater satiety and satisfaction.   Our therapy team can help you break down the complex web of food addiction, exploring how you can create marginal gains in nutritional intake, eating behaviour, psychological processes and emotional management that can transform the way you eat and experience food, moving you towards better health and weight loss.   Bibliography   McCrickerd, K., and Forde, C. G. (2016) Sensory influences on food intake control: moving beyond palatability. Obesity Reviews, 17: 18–29.