Sunday December 15, 2019

Scent of a Lemon Can Help People Feel Better About Their Body Image

The researchers believe the new findings could be used to develop new recommendations for therapies for people with body perception disorders or wearable technologies that could improve self-esteem

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Lemon and honey drink. Pixabay.

Researchers have found that the scent of a lemon could help people feel better about their body image, and that people feel thinner and lighter when they experienced it.

The study presented at the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT 2019) also revealed people contrastingly felt thicker and heavier when they smelt vanilla.

“Our study shows how the sense of smell can influence the image we have in our mind of our body and on the feelings and emotions towards it,” said study lead by author Giada Brianza from the University of Sussex.

The research project builds upon recent research in cognitive neuroscience and human-computer interaction (HCI), which revealed technology can change people’s body image perception (BIP) by stimulating a range of senses.

The experiment consists of two consecutive studies. In the first study, participants sat at a computer screen while olfactory stimuli were delivered and were then asked to rate the perceived scent using a Visual Analogue Scale comparing it to spiky or rounded shapes, hot or cold, high or low pitch and thin and thick body silhouettes.

In the follow-up study, participants stood on a wooden board, wearing headphones, a pair of motion-capture sensors and the shoe-based device which enhanced the pitch of their own footsteps.

Vastu tips suggest lemon in water
Lemon in water. Pixabay

Participants were instructed to walk on the spot while olfactory stimuli were released and then asked to adjust the size of a 3-D avatar using a body visualisation tool according to their perception of themselves.

They also answered a questionnaire about perceived speed, body feelings and emotions.

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The researchers found the scent of lemon resulted in participants’ feeling lighter, while the vanilla scent made them feel heavier.

These sensations were enhanced when combined with high-pitched sounds and low-pitched sounds of the participants’ footsteps.

The researchers believe the new findings could be used to develop new recommendations for therapies for people with body perception disorders or wearable technologies that could improve self-esteem. (IANS)

Next Story

No Body Image Oriented Posts For People Under Age 18, Instagram Announces

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to restrict people under age 18 from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and weight-loss products

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Instagram, Body Image, teenagers, posts, restrict
New research suggests that Instagram users tend to compose selfies that look attractive and not real. Pixabay

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced to restrict people under age 18 from viewing posts from celebrity influencers that promote cosmetic surgery and various weight-loss products.

Certain posts will be hidden from users under age 18 while others will be removed from Instagram as well as parent company’s platform Facebook, Instagram’s public policy manager Emma Collins said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” Collins was quoted as saying in a report on cbsnews.com.

Social media users including actress Jameela Jamil have long been criticizing influencers like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for promoting fat-loss products.

“If celebs and influencers were actually honest with us about some of these diet/detox products…” Jamil had tweeted in November last year which went viral.

Instagram will remove posts entirely if it “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code”.

Instagram, Body Image, teenagers, posts, restrict
Social media users including actress Jameela Jamil have long been criticizing influencers like Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner for promoting fat-loss products. Pixabay

The updated policy is part of Instagram’s work to “reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,a said Collins.

Earlier, in an interview with the London Evening Standard, Collins said Instagram worked with external experts to make this change without ruining the spirit of the platform.

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone,” she said.

Several studies in the past have suggested that Instagram may be a contributing factor to eating disorders and depression among teenagers.

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who view unhealthy snack images on social media platforms like Instagram are likely to consume more calories from unhealthy snacks.

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“The results are supported by celebrity endorsement data, which show unhealthy food endorsements increase children’s unhealthy food intake, but healthy food endorsements have little or no effect on healthy food intake,” said researcher Anna Coate from the University of Liverpool in Britain.

The study was conducted with the aim of examining the effect of social media marketing of snack foods (healthy and unhealthy), via vloggers’ Instagram pages, on children’s snack intake.

Children in the group that viewed the unhealthy snack images consumed 32 per cent more calories from unhealthy snacks specifically and 26 per cent more calories in total — from healthy and unhealthy snacks — compared with children who saw the non-food images, the findings showed.

The results suggest that the marketing of unhealthy foods, via vloggers’ Instagram pages, increases children’s immediate energy intake. (IANS)