We Are Not Smarter Than Hunger

So this video came across my Tumblr dash, and it triggered a rant.

Basically, the gist is this: a researcher fed volunteers milkshakes.  One group got milkshakes that were labeled as low-calorie.  The other group got milkshakes labeled as high-calorie.  The group given the “high-calorie” milkshakes felt less hungry afterward.

This is an interesting example of the placebo effect, for sure.  However, it is now being bandied about as “You can change your metabolism with your miiind!”  And, predictably, people are discussing it almost solely in the context of weight-loss dieting.  As if it offers hope.

Because I’d like it preserved for posterity, here’s what I said on Tumblr (with a few minor edits):

The fact that this works for one feeding with a single milkshake means nothing.  It’s basically a trick to fool your body into feeling fuller, temporarily, but it says nothing about how your body treats hunger over the long term.

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