Discover the science of Sensploration
Turn the music down! Oxford scientist reveals that your favourite music could be ruining your healthy eating new year’s resolutions
Oxford Professor of Experimental Psychology, Charles Spence, has revealed why music could be the reason you can’t resist chocolate, sweets and biscuits – putting your healthy resolutions in jeopardy.
The expert, enlisted by Pink Lady® apples to decode the science behind our eating habits said: “We often blame our own willpower when it comes to ditching New Year’s resolutions sooner than we hoped, but the science shows there is much more at play.
“The findings show that music could be the reason you’re finding it hard to make healthy snacking choices.”
Most important, the Oxford don reveals, is the volume of our favourite playlist. Music lovers who like it loud – beware.
Charles Spence explains: “High volume music enhances excitement levels, which research has shown leads to unhealthy food choices.
“The key to reaching for a Pink Lady® apple instead of pick and mix is to listen to your favourite songs on a low volume, as research has proven that this makes us more likely to opt for healthy foods due to induced relaxation.
“Research reveals that low volume music is better for healthy food choices than listening to no music at all, so don’t ditch the playlist altogether.” Charles warned.
It’s not as crazy as it sounds – our senses are all interlinked, and music can influence our food choices in many weird and wonderful ways.
Lynn Shaw from Pink Lady® said: “With healthy eating and fitness at the top of Brits’ most-made resolutions* on January 1st, many of us will be looking for ways to make it easier along the way. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Charles to help decode the science of gastrophysics and provide Brits with a list of weird and wonderful hacks that are backed up by science to help them keep their resolutions this year.”
Charles’ 3 top tips for healthy eating this January
1: Listen to your favourite music on a low volume. Studies have shown that the more you like the music you’re listening to, the more you’ll enjoy what you’re eating. Favourite songs on a low volume mean maximum cravings for, and enjoyment of, healthier food.
2: Keep the lights bright. Research has indicated that we are more likely to make unhealthy food choices when in a dimly-lit environment. Opt for bright ambient lighting at snack time or mealtimes to keep your good habits on track.
3: Let sweet music satisfy your sweet tooth. Want to satisfy your sweet tooth with science instead of more sugar? At Oxford University, we have been working on “sonic seasoning”, the idea that playing music can help bring out certain flavours or characteristics in food. Want to make your food taste sweeter? Play tinkling, high pitched music as you eat.
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