Small is good enough
By Express News Service
10th February 2013 12:00 AM
Niketa Mulay loves to binge. “I love food and I cannot stop unless the quantity is large enough to satisfy my mind,” says the Mumbai-based content writer. Sitting at her office, she not only generates content for the company, but also keeps munching huge amount of snacks all the time, a common phenomenon among many of us. But as she gained weight, Niketa felt that she needs to tackle this. A friend suggested Botox stomach injections. “It won’t keep you from eating too much,” her friend suggested. Previous findings have suggested that Botox stomach injections prolonged feelings of fullness, delayed gastric emptying and reduced body weight.
But, researchers of a latest study say that earlier studies weren’t randomnised or placebo-controlled. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in the US recruited 60 obese patients in a double-blind trial to test how gastric Botox injections worked against a placebo. After 24 weeks, those who were given the Botox treatments showed no improvements in weight loss. “On the basis of our findings, I would not recommend gastric Botox injections to people who want to lose weight,” researcher Mark Topazian said in a statement. “There are some risks with this treatment and we found that there was no benefit in terms of body weight loss.” The findings were recently published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
So, Niketa mustn’t go for this Botox business and think of something else to tackle the problem. But do people like Niketa have greater appetite or do they suffer from some kind of illusion? Researchers say that a foodie may demand a lot of gastronomic delights to satiate his or her cravings, but even a small portion can be as satisfying as the larger portions of food.
According to a recent study by the Cornell University, there can be a significant drop in the cravings for food even if eaten in small portions. The study included more than 100 adults who were given small or large portions of the same snack. Those who consumed large portions, consumed 77 per cent more calories (about 100 calories more) than those who ate small portions. Yet, both groups reported a significant drop in cravings 15 minutes after eating, suggesting that the smaller portions can fit the bill. The findings are published in the journal Food, Quality and Preference.
“This research supports the notion that eating for pleasure or hedonic hunger is driven more by the availability of foods instead of the food already eaten,” study co-author Brian Wansink, a professor of economics, said in a university news release. “Just a bit satisfies, not magnifies, hunger and craving tendencies for snacks,” he added. “If you want to control your weight, here’s the secret. Take a bite and wait. After 15 minutes all you’ll remember in your head and in your stomach is that you had a tasty snack,” Wansink said.
It seems Niketa and others who love to gorge on food can do well to try small portions and then take a break from the platter. They can relish the foodie memory and think big quantities, rather than pouncing upon the food, all over again to make matters worse.
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