Smelling your way to weight loss?

By Peter Kent

In the battle of bulging waistlines, it would be helpful if aromas could reduce feelings of hunger. Unfortunately, a Clemson study found that dieters will have to still count calories.

Food scientists Felix Barron and Liz Halpin led a student research project that studied the effect of certain food aromas – including peppermint, banana and green apples – on calorie consumption and weight gain in laboratory rats.

Six rats in the test group were exposed to the aromas in the morning and in the afternoon before they ate. Six rats in the control group were not exposed to the aromas. After eight weeks, the weight change in both groups appeared to be cyclic and not related to the aroma treatments.

Clemson Public Service personnel are committed to helping South Carolinians combat obesity. Other research is exploring ways to understand the link between genetics and nutrition, as well as providing public information on healthy lifestyles and calorie-conscious cooking.

For more information: Felix Barron, 864-656-5694,,or Liz Halpin, 864-656-5704,