Watchful eating has long been heralded as the key to maintaining control of our weight, but have we considered that that mindfulness may involve all of our senses?
A new study has revealed that taking the time to listen to the sound of ourselves eating may help us to pay more attention to what and how much we are eating. Research has dubbed this as “the crunch effect” – if our food makes a sound, we are more aware of it.
Ryan Elder, an assistant professor of marketing at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, along with his team of researchers conducted several experiments as part of this study. In one, a group was allowed to listen to loud music and snack on pretzels while the other group enjoyed the same snack while listening to more serene music.
The results showed the people listening to the louder music ate more pretzels. Perhaps it was the volume of the music masking the sound of the chewing making the participants less aware what they were eating. Ultimately, mindfulness results in eating less, and hearing the sound of chewing can help us stay aware.
What the study fails to explain is how we continue to gain weight despite the loud crunching of our daily large bag of Doritos.