Obese people have less ability to detect smell, a new review claims. According to this study, people with obesity have a poor sense of smell compared to those who are not obese. Obesity is a medical condition which occurs when a person carries an excessive amount of weight.
The condition is very common, affecting millions of people worldwide. It can also lead to other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. It is defined by the body mass index (BMI) which is measured on the basis of height and weight.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2016, 41 million children under 5 years old were obese and almost 2 billion adults were overweight. It also notes that worldwide obesity rate has nearly tripled since 1975.
Now, the study, published in Obesity Reviews, showing the relationship between smell and body weight is the first of its kind. It was conducted by scientists from the University of Otago in New Zealand, and experts from Otago’s Departments of Food Science, Anatomy, and Mathematics/Statistics.
The team analyzed the scientific papers featuring the association between body weight and sense of smell. In addition, they also used data of 1,500 individuals from “empirical and clinical global studies.”
Study lead author, Dr. Mei Peng said, “After compiling our evidence, we found there is, in fact, a strong link between a person’s body weight and their smell ability — the better a person can smell, the more likely the person is to be slim, or vice versa.” He is from the University of Otago’s Department of Food Science.