Too great a temptation!

Too great a temptation!

Junk food

How many times have you been tempted to eat despite not being hungry just because you saw mouth-watering images of food in advertisements?

Burgers, ice creams, fries and other forms of junk food find a place in the daily diets of many, thanks to all the images of food whirling around us. In fact, a recent research conducted by a team of researchers at Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, confirmed that mouth-watering images of food in advertisements are making it harder for people to lose weight.

The team further said that it only takes a picture of tempting food to cause a change in the level of ghrelin hormone, which controls people’s appetite — and this makes many hungry. The study says that the effect of the hormones is so powerful that a photograph can make you want to eat just two hours after breakfast. Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to find out if they agree with this

Pushpanjali, a student of M S Ramaiah College of Arts, Science and Commerce, completely agrees. “There was a time when I would eat a lot of junk food and outside food and ended up gaining a lot of weight. Then I sought the help of my sister, who is health-conscious. She made me eat healthy and home-cooked food,” she says. “Now, I tell my friends to curb their intake of junk food. It’s ok to give in to temptation once in a while but to have unhealthy food everyday is not good at all,” she adds.

Yallina Thomas, a student counsellor, has come across many youngsters dealing with the problem of obesity. She says weight problems are related to stress most often. “Some people tend to eat more due to stress while there are many who stop eating altogether for the same. My advice to them is that they analyse the root cause of the stress and seek the help of a counsellor. Overeating is not a solution to the problem,” she says. Yallina agrees with the findings of the research.

“Anything attractive definitely has an impact. The more we see it, the more we are tempted. Many a time, we are tempted to eat something that looks delicious. But it depends on how strong your willpower is to realise that you are overeating,” she adds.

Speaking about the internal body mechanisms, Dr Sameena, a young doctor, says, “There are many hormones that increase our appetite and many that decrease it,” she says. “We cannot say marketing is wrong. It all depends on our behaviour and lifestyle modification. The kind of lifestyle you lead and your eating habits are very important. Instead of giving in to temptation, have short eats at regular intervals,” she advises.

Yogita, a fitness expert at a gym, has come across many people who get tempted to eat  due to the smell or look of the food, despite not being hungry.

“My only advice to them is to eat in small quantities. They can have a small amount of what they like before evening. Those who are obese need to eat these snacks before 3 or 4 pm while those with a normal body weight can eat them before 7 pm. That way, you don’t have to skip dinner,” she says. “However, don’t control your temptation too much at the same time. If you don’t eat properly, you will binge during your next meal and end up adding more calories.”