Smelling lemon makes people feel slim, according to new research.
The aroma enhances the body image and improves self-esteem, scientists say.
Lead author Jiad Brianza, Ph.D. E. student, said: "Our brains have several mental models of their own physical appearance that are necessary for successful interactions with the environment.
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"These organs are constantly updated in response to sensory inputs received from the outside and inside the body.
"Our study shows how the sense of smell can affect the image we have in our body consciousness and our feelings and emotions about it. "
A study at the Computer-Human Interaction Laboratory at the University of Sussex (SCHI) found that participants felt thinner and lighter when they felt the aroma of lemon.
On the other hand, the pungent odor of vanilla it had the opposite effect ̵
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Brianza said: "It can lead to new and more effective therapies for people with impaired body perception or development of interactive clothing and techno wear
"They could use aroma to enhance people's self-esteem and calibrate distorted body weights."
The results presented at an international conference on human-computer interaction in Paphos, Cyprus, is the first to analyze how odor affects body image
It is estimated that nearly 3.5 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder and about 30 million in the United States.
Co-author Dr. Ana Tayadura-Jimenez, of the University of Carlos III in Madrid, says: "Our previous studies show how sound can be used to change the perception of the body.
" For example, in a series of studies , we have shown how step by step changes the sounds people make when walking, can make them feel lighter and happier, and also change the way they walk.
"However, no one has ever considered whether odors can have a similar effect on body perception."
Click HERE TO SIGN F OR OUR LIFTYLENE BULLETIN Obrist says: "Previous studies have shown that lemon associates with thin silhouettes, hissing shapes and high-pitched sounds, while vanilla associates with thick silhouettes, rounded shapes and low
" This could help to account for the different perception of body image when exposed to a number
"One of the interesting findings of the study is that sound seems to have a stronger effect on unconscious behavior, while aroma has a stronger effect on conscious behavior.
"Additional studies need to be conducted to better understand the potential around BIP sensory and multisensory stimuli."