Sensory Specific Satiety

In the field of hedonics – the study of pleasure – the concept of pleasantness is important in influencing food choice and may play a role in determine the amount of food consumed. This is called sensory specific satiety (SSS). Studies of SSS have found it occurs within two minutes after consumption of a single food, when there’s been a little opportunity for digestion and absorption, and it’s specific for the sensory aspect of the food (Rolls 1986; Hetherington, Rolls and Burley 1989). If you are eating mindfully, you will begin to notice that when that moment of SSS sets in, for example, when your tastebuds begin to be desensitised to that taste. At that moment, you might notice that it doesn’t taste as good as it did when you first bit into it. Sensory specific satiety encompasses the proposition that by evaluating the sensual qualities of food, you can determine when the pleasantness of food decreases. With this focus, you will automatically come to just the right amount of food you need to give you the most satisfaction.

Typically, we eat more than one food in a meal. As the pleasantness of a group of foods decreases, it often corresponds to an increase in satiety, leading to a decrease in hunger and desire to eat.

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