Podcast: Health News Digest: Sensory and Social Influences on Eating

We discuss the latest in health news. This week, we bring you on a tour of the eating experience–from the tongue to the nose and we end with the people who eat with us. Join us and learn how a “dulled” tongue drives sugar intake, how smells trigger the incinerator within you, and how a mirror makes you eat more. We speak to Celine Riera, Assistant Professor in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Robin Dando, Assistant Professor in Department of Food Science, Cornell University; Suzanne Higgs, Professor in Psychobiology of Appetite, University of Birmingham; and Sarah-Jeanne Salvy, Associate Professor at University of Alabama.

Tags: The Bigger PictureHealth and Livingeatingdietsocial facilitationsocial modelingobesityfatssugarsensoryCornellparentingsmellstastehealth news digestGymnema sylvestreCedars-SinaiHealthcare, Pharma, BiotechHealth

Science signaling Editor’s choice

Sci. Signal.  25 Jul 2017: Olfactory control of metabolism

The scent of food is important for the perception of flavor and triggers physiological responses that prepare the body for a meal, such as increased secretion of saliva and gastric acid. Riera et al. report that the sense of smell also affects metabolism. OMPDTR mice, in which olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) were selectively ablated by treating young animals with diphtheria toxin, did not gain as much weight as did wild-type mice when fed a high-fat diet (HFD)….

CBS News: Is sense of smell linked to being fatter or thinner?


Would you be willing to give up the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or a pizza right out of the oven if it meant slimming down?

A new study showed that mice that lost their sense of smell didn’t gain weight even when they ate the same high-fat diet as mice that could smell and did gain weight.

The mice that retained their sense of smell packed on twice their normal weight while the smell-deficient mice didn’t gain at all, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, reported in the journal Cell Metabolism.

A group of mice whose olfactory neurons had been genetically altered to take away their sense of smell were also compared with another group of mice whose sense of smell had been enhanced. The “super-smellers” gained even more weight.

Exclusive Interviews with the 2015 ADA Pathway Initiative Award Winners

Starting in 2012, the American Diabetes Association established the Pathway to Stop Diabetes initiative, a $1.6 million grant (paid over five years) to support the research of young up-and-coming scientists who are committed to working on innovative projects in diabetes…

Mice That Feel Less Pain Live Longer

Scientists have found a way to beat back the hands of time and fight the ravages of old age, at least in mice. A new study finds that mice bred without a specific pain sensor, or receptor, live longer and are less likely to develop diseases such as diabetes in old age. What’s more, exposure to a molecule found in chili peppers and other spicy foods may confer the same benefits as losing this pain receptor—meaning that humans could potentially benefit, too…