Imagined Eating Reduces Actual Food Consumption

Carey Morewedge, Co-investigator at the Penn-CMU Roybal Center on Behavioral Economics at CHIBE, recently published an article in Science demonstrating that research participants who imagined eating large quantities of particular foods (cheese and M&Ms) ate less of the food than other research participants who did not engage in the imaginary consumption exercise. Morewedge attributes the effect to habituation -- the human capacity to adjust to particular stimuli, be it bright lights, smells or the food we are eating -- though more research is needed to understand the effect before it is adopted as a dieting strategy