If we eat cold food we tend to eat more, French study finds

The temperature of a dish, warm or cold, can alter our perception of its calorie content and can lead us to eat more, according to a study coming out of Grenoble, France.

The study had 2,600 French, American and Brazilian respondents of all ages.

According to a study, our brain perceives a cold dish to be lighter in calories than a warm dish. The majority of people who choose a cold dish tend to consume more calories (+31%), fat (+37%) and carbohydrates (+22%).

“In most cultures, warm foods are considered filling and play an important role in the day’s main meals. This perception comes from the fact that humans digest hot foods more easily and expect warm food to be tastier,” Amanda Pruski Yamim, one of the study’s authors said.

And so for a tastier meal, humans would be willing to pay more. The study reports that survey participants would be willing to pay up to 25% more for a food item when it was served (or simply labelled) hot.

“These observations are essential for people with weight problems or suffering from obesity,” says the researcher, who advises adding a warm food item to a cold dish to increase the feeling of satiety.