Hard work `improves` taste of food

Last Updated: Nov 05, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: The harder we have to try to obtain something, the more we realise its worth. This applies even to food we normally find unappetising, a study shows.

A Johns Hopkins University study suggests that hard work enhances our appreciation for something as uninspiring as low-fat, low calorie food.

For example, if we had to navigate an obstacle course to get to a plate of baby carrots, we might come to prefer those raw vegetables over the sweet Snickers bars or snacks, reports the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

"Basically, what we have shown is that if you have to expend more effort to get a certain food, not only will you value that food more, but it might even taste better to you," explained Alexander Johnson, who led the study.

Johnson is an associate research scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins.

"At present, we don`t know why effort seems to boost the taste of food, but we know that it does, and this effect lasts for at least 24 hours after the act of working hard to get the food," said Johnson.

People who struggle to maintain a healthy weight could be conditioned to consume lower calorie foods, according to Johnson.

Johnson teamed up on the project with Michela Gallagher, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins.

IANS