Published on 28 Aug 2023

Reduce candy cravings with immersive consumption videos

NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication Assistant Professor Benjamin Li Junting, who led the study, and co-author of the study, NTU’s WKWSCI master’s student Ms Lee Hui Min, posing with a subject equipped with a VR headset

People who have watched repeated immersive videos of others consuming candy, subsequently have a significantly decreased craving for it, a team of scientists from NTU Singapore has found.

Researchers led by Asst Prof Benjamin Li from NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication (WKWSCI) found that viewers who watched the immersive candy-eating video 30 times subsequently consumed an average of a third less candy (32 per cent to 38 per cent less candy), equating to around three pieces less.

This is compared to those who ate an average of ten pieces of candy after watching the control video, which showed a single coin being inserted into a laundry machine 30 times.

The NTU researchers suggest that repeatedly watching the videos makes the participants imagine themselves ingesting and tasting the candy, leading them to think or believe that they had already consumed the candy, reducing their desire for it.

The findings of the study which involves Singapore residents could be helpful for individuals looking to curb their appetites or manage compulsive eating behaviours.

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