Based on the logic of mutual competition between cravings and odours for limited-capacity resources, this study investigated whether a simple olfactory task, involving a brief odour exposure, could reduce food cravings. In support, Experiment 1 showed that smelling a neutral unfamiliar odorant reduced cravings for highly desired food items, relative to a comparison auditory task and a no-task control condition. Experiment 2 replicated these findings specifically for chocolate cravings, which can be particularly problematic. Thus olfactory stimulation offers potential scope for curbing unwanted food cravings.
- Craving reduction