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Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Calories? Maybe, Study Finds

January 19, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
German researchers have confirmed a fact that most people already knew: pictures of delicious food trigger hunger pangs. The study, which was conducted among healthy young men, suggests that the pervasive presence of pictures of appetizing food in the media contributes to weight increase in Western populations. The researchers showed the study participants picture of food, then measured the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood. They found that the level of ghrelin, which controls both eating behavior and physical processes involved in food metabolism, increased significantly as a result of visual stimulation from food images.
Petra Schüssler et al., "Ghrelin Levels Increase After Pictures Showing Food", Obesity, January 19, 2012, © The Obesity Society
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