Photos of delicious foods trigger hunger hormone: study

If you want to curb your appetite, close the cookbook, turn off the cooking show and step away from the food porn.

That's the message from a new study out of Germany which found that the mere sight of delicious food caused levels of the appetite-controlling hormone ghrelin -- also known as the hunger hormone -- to spike in their male subjects.

In the study out of the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, published in the journal Obesity and announced last week, scientists measured the levels of appetite-controlling and metabolism hormones like ghrelin, leptin and insulin in male subjects as they were shown photos of either delicious foods or non-edible objects.

When presented with visual stimulation of food images, scientists observed that levels of ghrelin, which is secreted by stomach cells and tells the brain when to eat, spiked.

The physiological response to appetizing food photos is particularly pertinent given how omnipresent food advertisements are in the developed society, the study points out.

The moral of the story? Refrain from ogling delicious photos of food, researchers say.


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