Eat your food with hands to enjoy it more
Why people eat rice with hands in most parts of India? Because directly touching the food makes experience of eating more enjoyable, say researchers.
The study, published in the a journal, revealed that when high self-control individuals touch food directly with their hands, compared to when they use cutlery, they not only find what they eat – tastier and more satisfying –but also eat more.
"Our results suggest that for people who regularly control their food consumption, direct touch triggers an enhanced sensory response, making food more desirable and appealing," said study researcher.
In the first experiment, 45 undergraduate students visually inspect and evaluate a cube of Muenster cheese, hold it before eating it and then asked them to answer questions about their eating behaviour.
Initially, the two groups did not indicate any difference.
The researchers found that participants who reported a high degree of self-control when consuming food –
individuals who report that they can resist tasty foods and are conscious about what and how much they eat – when using their hands found the cheese tastier and more appetizing.
Even when researchers manipulated participants' thinking on self-control, goals and food consumption, these findings persisted a high degree of self-control influences how people experience food when they touch it directly with their hands.
In the second experiment, the researchers separated a new set of 145 undergraduate students into two groups.
The first group was told to imagine that they have decided to be more careful with their diet and cut back on excessive eating to achieve the objective of being fit and healthy.
The second team was told to worry less about their weight and allow themselves eat tasty foods to enjoy life.
The study found that when participants were primed with self-control (vs. indulgent) thinking, they evaluated the sampled food more positively than when they touched it directly with their hands.
It also suggests that the mechanism driving this effect was the enhanced sensory experience that participants reported in the direct touch or self-control condition.
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