Food tastes better when you eat at a mirror
A new study has suggested that food might actually taste better when you can see your own reflection.
The peculiar claim comes courtesy of researchers at Nagoya University in Japan who wanted to further explore a phenomenon known as "the social facilitation of eating" which concerns the previous discovery that people enjoy food more when they eat in the company of others.
For their experiment, the scientists decided to see if eating in front of a mirror could fool the brain in to believing that another person was present, thus improving the taste of the food.
"We wanted to find out what the minimum requirement is for the social facilitation of eating," said study lead author Dr Ryuzaburo Nakata. "Does another person have to actually be physically present, or is information suggesting the presence of others sufficient ?"
The results of the experiment, which involved 16 volunteers, indicated that sitting in front of a mirror actually did improve the taste of the food by as much as 25%.
The team believes that the findings could help lonely older people eat larger helpings.
"Studies have shown that for older adults, enjoying food is associated with quality of life, and frequently eating alone is associated with depression and loss of appetite," wrote Dr Nakata.
"Our findings therefore suggest a possible approach to improving the appeal of food, and quality of life, for older people who do not have company when they eat for example, those who have suffered loss or are far away from their loved ones.