subscribe Signup for our Newsletter expand Expand Browser
Calorie Count Blog

The Sensa Sprinkle Diet


By Mary_RD on Jul 21, 2009 12:00 PM in Tips & Updates
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Sensa crystals help you to eat less by tricking your brain into feeling full.  Simply sprinkle Sensa on your food, sniff before eating, and chew slowly to let the flavor permeate.  In a study of 1,436 participants who sprinkled Sensa on everything they ate for six months, the average weight loss was 30.5 lbs.  There is no counting calories or exercise routines (but the small print advises you to choose healthy food).

Science at work

Before you dismiss Sensa “sprinkles“as a hoax, realize the concept is grounded in science.  Sensa was developed by Alan R. Hirsch, MD, a psychiatric neurologist and Director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.  Dr. Hirsch’s research focuses on how smell and taste affects weight loss, sleep, sexual habits, and consumer preferences, and his studies are published in peer-reviewed medical journals.

In Dr. Hirsch’s line of work, he found that patients who had lost their sense of smell typically gained weight.  He hypothesized that if loss of smell could induce weight gain, then enhancing smell would bring about weight loss. 

For years, Dr. Hirsch and his team tested “tastants” - substances that stimulate the sense of taste through the appetite control center in the brain.  He was looking  a flavorless, odorless crystal that could intensify the flavor of food.  After testing more than 4,000 tastants he found Sensa, a blend of six different scent/flavor combinations.  Sensa contains natural and artificial flavors in a base of maltodextrin (derived from corn), tricalcium phosphate, silica, FD&C Yellow 5, carmine, and milk and soy derivatives.  It is sodium-free, sugar-free, calorie-free, gluten-free, and there are no stimulants, drugs or MSG.  All of Sensa’s ingredients are on the FDA designation list of GRAS — Generally Recognized as Safe.  FDA approval is not needed because Sensa is a food and not a drug.  It does not have any known side-effects.

What to expect

There are two kinds of Sensa: salty and sweet.  Sweet is for sweets foods and salty is for everything else.  Sensa must be sprinkled on every bit of solid food - pizza, chips, broccoli, grapes, candy, supper - you name it!  Most people don’t notice a change in taste with Sensa, but still, Sensa is doing its thing stimulating nerve receptors and signaling hormones to tell your stomach it's full.

You can buy Sensa from the Sensa website.  A one month starter kit is $59 but a six month supply is discounted to $235.00.  If you are unsatisfied with Sensa for any reason, you can return the product within 30 days for a refund.  Watch this Dateline segment about Sensa on YouTube.   

The Bottom Line:  Sensa does produce a feeling of fullness, but that does not guarantee weight loss.  But, if hunger is your problem, especially when you start to diet before your body adjusts, Sensa might be just the thing - along with counting calories.  As for me, I'll push away the plate, but don’t go touching my food.


Your thoughts...

Could Sensa sprinkles help you?



Comments


Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...



I'm doing ok with my current plan, but since this is sodium free, I wouldn't mind trying it.  Only thing is, I'm on a fixed income and can't afford it, so it will just ahve to wait.



One of the ingredients of this product is carmine.

Carmine may be prepared from cochineal, by boiling dried insects in water to extract the carminic acid.

Carmine is used as a food dye in many different products such as juices, ice cream, yogurt, and candy, and as a dye in cosmetic products such as eyeshadow and lipstick. Although principally a red dye, it is found in many foods that are shades of red, pink, and purple. As a food dye it has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine

I have just recently found out about this product as I myself am finding as I age I have allergic reactions, and it's hard to figure out to what when there are many ingredients in some products. 

This is just an FYI for anyone that is interested.



humm. Something I might have to try since CC thought it was atleast worthy of an explanation.  I am fat because I like to eat, and becuase I get super hungry.  Sure I am controlling that, but if this product can help induce satiety, I think it will be great for me.  Maybe 6 months ago nothing I could've bought or done could help with weightloss, but I am in a diferent place now.  The good thing is that I already have great eating habits, now I need to tame the beast. Thanks for the article!



Original Post by: lisaw1215

Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...


I agree. Excess weight often has nothing to do with hunger.

I don't think this qualifies as a bona fide posting - it looks and sounds like a promotional advert.



Original Post by: artytim

Original Post by: lisaw1215

Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...


I agree. Excess weight often has nothing to do with hunger.

I don't think this qualifies as a bona fide posting - it looks and sounds like a promotional advert.


When you're running a site for free, people will inevitably wonder how you make money. Our parent company, About.com, has been in business since 1997, and has established itself as one of the most trusted sources of original information and advice. They have a strict ethics policy, which clearly separates editorial and sales teams, and which prohibits money from influencing the message. All the same rules apply at Calorie Count as well.

The reason why this review has a positive tone, is because the research that was conducted by our nutritionist identified this diet as one of the few ones that seem to have a scientific foundation. If this review had been about Atkins, it would have had a different tone (but we don't need to tell you to stay away from Atkins anyway). Should we learn about negative side-effects or research data that put the Sensa Sprinkle Diet in a negative light, we will make sure to update our original article.



"Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it..."

This isn't my experience.   Food doesn't give me any sense of satiation, and the body craves that sense.  Then again, I'm anosmic (no sense of smell), and definitely feel the difference in the experience of food and satiation before and after losing my sense of smell has made a tremendous difference in my relationship with food.

It simply takes more food to feel satiated, to satisfy that remaining sense of taste - which is only something like 10-20% of a normal sense of taste.  Most of what you might consider your sense of taste is actually your sense of smell.

I can't taste the difference between apples and onions.  I can feel the difference for sure, but I can't taste it.

Something like this, if it really does enhance the sense of taste and the satisfaction from having your sense of taste satiated, could be life-altering for an anosmic person.  I just wonder if it relies on the sense of smell after all, anyway, which would render it useless for me.



I find this information very interesting. My in-laws are all extremely overweight, as an entire family,  and while they all agree that they are what they are is because food tastes good and they just keep eating and eating, they also agree that there is that constant "hunger" too. This may be the tool that some people need to kick start a lower calorie diet, to give them that full feeling. Granted, this also would mean choosing healthier foods, as well. That could be the kicker....... I didn't like the line "There is no counting calories or exercise routines (but the small print advises you to choose healthy food)." That can be dangerous.....



People who are overweight eat for a variety of reasons.  As a dietary aid this seems to be "out there".  I am rarely hungry when I eat, so this would not do anything for me.  I have Diabetes and hunger doesn't enter into the picture often as when my sugars are high nothing looks good.



Looks like an expensive scam.



I tried Sensa and I found it didn't work for me. I already eat less than most people but still have trouble dropping the pounds. Also I don't use a salt shaker so I found it difficult to remember to sprinkle my food. The Sensa does enhance the flavor of your food but for the money you spend I am not sure if it is worth it.



Original Post by: Igor

Original Post by: artytim

Original Post by: lisaw1215

Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...


I agree. Excess weight often has nothing to do with hunger.

I don't think this qualifies as a bona fide posting - it looks and sounds like a promotional advert.


When you're running a site for free, people will inevitably wonder how you make money. Our parent company, About.com, has been in business since 1997, and has established itself as one of the most trusted sources of original information and advice. They have a strict ethics policy, which clearly separates editorial and sales teams, and which prohibits money from influencing the message. All the same rules apply at Calorie Count as well.

The reason why this review has a positive tone, is because the research that was conducted by our nutritionist identified this diet as one of the few ones that seem to have a scientific foundation. If this review had been about Atkins, it would have had a different tone (but we don't need to tell you to stay away from Atkins anyway). Should we learn about negative side-effects or research data that put the Sensa Sprinkle Diet in a negative light, we will make sure to update our original article.


My main problem with this whole article is that you say it has a scientific basis but don't explain what it is or provide links to any studies.

To know whether Sensa actually works or just has a placebo effect, you would need to run a proper clinical trial where one group of people used Sensa, one used a fake version, and one group used nothing. You would then need to compare the weight lost by each group. Its meainingless that the people taking Sensa lost 30lbs, if people using a placebo also lose that much in the same time. The way placebos work is very well documented (for instance, see Wikipedia) - if people expect to feel less hungry, then they do feel less hungry, so we would need to know if people taking a placebo lost just as much weight before we could know if Sensa works any better. Withough this kind of unbiased information, this article (intentionally or otherwise) is just a meaningless advertisement for the product.



Original Post by: holsfisher

Original Post by: Igor

Original Post by: artytim

Original Post by: lisaw1215

Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...


I agree. Excess weight often has nothing to do with hunger.

I don't think this qualifies as a bona fide posting - it looks and sounds like a promotional advert.


When you're running a site for free, people will inevitably wonder how you make money. Our parent company, About.com, has been in business since 1997, and has established itself as one of the most trusted sources of original information and advice. They have a strict ethics policy, which clearly separates editorial and sales teams, and which prohibits money from influencing the message. All the same rules apply at Calorie Count as well.

The reason why this review has a positive tone, is because the research that was conducted by our nutritionist identified this diet as one of the few ones that seem to have a scientific foundation. If this review had been about Atkins, it would have had a different tone (but we don't need to tell you to stay away from Atkins anyway). Should we learn about negative side-effects or research data that put the Sensa Sprinkle Diet in a negative light, we will make sure to update our original article.


My main problem with this whole article is that you say it has a scientific basis but don't explain what it is or provide links to any studies.

To know whether Sensa actually works or just has a placebo effect, you would need to run a proper clinical trial where one group of people used Sensa, one used a fake version, and one group used nothing. You would then need to compare the weight lost by each group. Its meainingless that the people taking Sensa lost 30lbs, if people using a placebo also lose that much in the same time. The way placebos work is very well documented (for instance, see Wikipedia) - if people expect to feel less hungry, then they do feel less hungry, so we would need to know if people taking a placebo lost just as much weight before we could know if Sensa works any better. Withough this kind of unbiased information, this article (intentionally or otherwise) is just a meaningless advertisement for the product.


Point well taken. There are natural limitations to the amount of scientific research we can put towards a review of a diet, and clinical studies are definitely out of our reach. Our information is at least as good as what you would get if you paid a lot of money for a good personal nutritionist, plus you get the benefit of our members' comments. Personally, I do believe that there is value in us doing the research for you, but we've always taken our readers' feedback seriously, and therefore we'll make changes to the format of all our future diet reviews.



Their website says that they had a control group of 100 participants who lost only 2 lbs on average. It doesn't indicate that they took a placebo, only that they did not  use the Sensa.



I think I would sooner spend that much per month on a gym membership, but maybe the price will come down some, as time goes on and other 'vitamin-type' companies seek to copy this with their own versions.

I eat out of hunger, but also out of craving something even when I am not hungry.  This may help some, but as with all things, including "FDA-approved meds," I don't try anything new for about 5 years, until plenty of other guinea pigs have done the real trials, beyond the drug company's few hundred or a thousand test subjects.  That's when the problems with meds or supplements really start coming to light.

 



Hi Everybody -

It's me - article author and Calorie Count nutritionist.  I have a few relevant comments: 

  • Calorie Count is an avid supporter of the idea that many (most?) overweight people do not eat because of hunger.  Read my blogs on the topic, What Is Hunger? and The Hunger - Fullness Scale.
  • For the Sensa article, I did note the research; click the live link "a study".
  • Read another non-clinical article about Sensa in the New York Times,  A Slimmer You May Be a Whiff Away.  Note that they didn't provide the actual research. 

Thank you all of using Calorie Count!

Mary



i appreciate the info about carmine, i follow a vegan lifestyle to the best of my ability and so often there are animal products "disguised," in the ingrediants. that aside, it is very expensive, that $ would be better spent on gym dues or a couple of pairs of walking shoes, there is no magic bullet.



Original Post by: akwalker13

Their website says that they had a control group of 100 participants who lost only 2 lbs on average. It doesn't indicate that they took a placebo, only that they did not  use the Sensa.


I can't find or verify the numbers you mentioned. I am still seeing the results of their clinical study as quoted in our article, and those results are posted here and here (those two organizations are obviously linked to each other through Alan R. Hirsch, MD). If you point me to your source, we will update the article.



Another note on why this may work, besides the medical research, the article stats that the directions on the product is to "chew slowly to let the flavor permeate".  There are many diets, programs and people that tell you to Slow down, Enjoy your food, Savor the taste and you will eat less.  Part of this is because it takes time for your stomach to realize you have eaten and to tell you when you are full.  If you eat slower, you will eat less simply for this reason.  I know that slowing down really helps, my whole family tried it for some time and we were all amazed how much less we ate when we put the fork down between bites.  However that habit was hard to keep up! LOL

I have never tired this product, but might consider if needed.  For me personally just eating healthier, smaller more frequent meals (I eat at least 5 times a day) and it is working for me so far, plus I do not want to spend the extra money unless I need to.

Just my opinion....LOL.   I really appreciate this being a free site, it has done so much to help me get on the right road to eating healthy.  I read many of the articles even if I am not interested just to get others points of view.  I however have a brain and if an plan or diet sounds too good to be true, it probably is not worth trying.  I have only been on here for about 7 weeks but feel I am learning so much about myself and in the end I will be a new and improved person.  If it were to cost money, I may not have given the site a chance in this tight economic times, every penny counts.

 



I would love to try it. But I just cant afford it. I am on SSDI. Could we get coupons for it? Or some kind of brake from anyone?

Thank you

Vicki



I know some people are thinking this is probably just an advertisement or whatever, but my mom went on Sensa in I believe it was November and since then she has lost 33lbs. She just started adding exercise to her routine so that is helping, but she put the Sensa on everthying -even the chocolate she was craving -and it helped her reduce her portions significantly.

On the other hand, I tried it and didn't see any results and actually continued to gain weight; however, I was also switching medicines quite a bit for anxiety which can cause weight fluctuations. This is not some miracle drug and it doesn't work for everyone -but it might be worth a try if you have trouble controlling your portions.



Calorie Count has always provided factual information and has always advised caution which are two of the reasons they are the only weight loss website I trust.

Re-read Mary's "Bottom Line" in the article about Sensa if you are concerned that this is an advertisement.



I belive in good old fashioned hard work and exercise with a healthy diet. Whats a person to do use sensa forever? If you use the product you arent actualy teaching your self portion control or healthy eating. So when you stop using the product you are still the same over eating person you where before. It has to be a life style chang eyou make on your own, not some sprinkles on your food. I mean unless you plan on carting sensa around in your pocket everywhere you go till the day you die.



it was an interesting article. I did not know about the the correlation between odor and satiety. It explains why the people who cook usually eat less, because they smelled the food during preparation.



Does anyone know if this product is availabe in UK. I want to try this but the official website doesn't have the option order form UK?

thanks



I've been paying attention to how I eat and eating slowly. And, I've noticed my best friend has the habit of looking at food he's about to eat, smelling it on the spoon or fork, and complimenting the color or smell. I also have Swiss in-laws, and I notice that they handle their food similarly, typically complimenting the cook. All of these folks are reasonably slim and healthy.

I'm wondering if their eating habits might not have the same impact as that produced by Sensa. Possibly?



As an ex smoker I find it hard to agree with Hirsch's logic. when you smoke you damage the nerve receptors for smell (which for the purposes of this arguement = taste), so nothing tastes quite as potent as it should. When i quite smoking my sense of smell/taste was incredibly heightened, the flavours in food were enhanced, and I enjoyed food a lot more...and that's a very small part of why I gained weight.

I will say this in its defense: while I agree with what people are saying about gaining weight not being about hunger, I think for people that chronically overeat this could be helpful while working on portion control. One of the hardest battles an overeater has to face when cutting calories is that they do not get a full feeling when they eat a healthy portion of food because the stomach has been stretched out to accomodate the extra large portion size, so until they're stomach shrinks again this could help train they're brain what a full looks like on the plate.



Original Post by: violetflower

it was an interesting article. I did not know about the the correlation between odor and satiety. It explains why the people who cook usually eat less, because they smelled the food during preparation.


or because they were tasting the whole time, haha

thats my problem at least...i have a really hard time tracking my calories when I play cook...because i have to taste test...



Right off the bat, $235.00 is a diet plan in itself. This is almost $40.00 a month, the price of my phone bill and internet bill together. I am losing weight right now by leaving out the salt, sugar (except for those products which have them in naturally, like fruitsand vegetables) and some of the fat. I am making better choices and have dropped 33 lbs. I still have about 60 more to go but I am not missing food. It is true, I am not hungry and I do eat because I love the taste of food. Most overweight people I know are the same. So it seems to me that for me, if you enhance the taste of the food, I will eat more not less. Now if the Sensa people want to prove otherwise, then they should do what other reputable companies for products like these are doing - give a free month trial supply. There are a few acai berry product companies alone that are doing this.  Prove me wrong!! Supply the starter kit for free, if it truly works then people will willingly give up the phone and internet and anything else for that matter to buy their product.



Of course until (if!) I try Sensa, the jury will be out for me on this product and I'm totally grossed out by the carmine info. HOWEVER my jury of one for Calorie Count is that it is a completely reliable and trustworthy website that I believe in and will use until it or I run out of steam. I am an extremely cautious person, used to sniffing out online scams, fake ads, smarmy infomercials, etc, I rarely trust anyone and CC is one of the few. If you don't believe in these guys, perhaps you just need to find another website. I'm staying put. Thanks Calorie Count, without you I'm a big fat hot mess!!!



The product sounds interesting AND Promising however...there is a LOT of info online regarding this man and his other product Sprinkle Thin and whole collage of complaints of people who got screwed out of the so-called 30 day free trial. I'll pass



The fine print is so very important on these so-called free trials. If any website, at any time, asks for your credit card #, there are several things you MUST do to protect yourself, your identity and your card balance: First, though it's not 100% foolproof, any webform or page that would have you enter your credit card number must have a website addreess that starts with https://. The letter "s" is the item you need to look for, it indicates that the info you send will be secure and encrypted. This does not NECESSARILY mean that the company you purchase from is on the up and up, but the number at least will not be out in cyberspace for anyone to steal. Also be sure that you are on the actual website. Often the fake sites will be one letter off on their address spelling from legit site, look very similar and have areas for you to put info, so they can take your identity or money. This most often has happened with banking sites; chase.com is legit, but chasw.com may not be. They hope you mistype and don't notice. Be Santa, check it twice! The other thing to look out for on the Free Trial offers is the fine print. They will ask for your credit card #, very clearly stating that it's for postage and handling and we think that's fair, we are getting the product for free. But the small, out of the way print goes on to tell you that you will be receiving a new supply every month, which they will charge you full price for, unless you return the product or let the company know in writing that you do not want to continue with the product subscription. That's the evilness of the "Free Trial". They reel us in with a freebie, but make at least a month's worth of income before many people realize that they have subscribed to a monthly program along with signing up for that "free" trial, gift, etc. Buyers beware, the snake oil salesmen have long been online and aways finding new ways to dupe us out of our hard-earned dollars.

Now, with all that having been said, I have no idea if the Sensa people are running their promotion this way. I'm writing this to help people no matter who you order from.

To quote an old cop show "Be careful out there, people!"

xo

surfkitty



you know, the monthly membership cost of the gym near me is the same price, about 59 a month. 



This was an interesting blog post.  It kind of goes along with that book The End of Overeating that someone  on CC (I forget who) recommended.  The food marketers and manufacturers make food into super tasty food.  The author calls it hyper-palatable and says that a lot of us get conditioned to overeat on hyperpalatable food.  I wonder if this sprinkle would help other people appreciate the natural flavors of less fatty, less sugary, less salty foods.



Comment Removed

This doesn't work. If it did, the pharmaceudical companies would be making it into gold.



Yeah!! I eat because I am bored. It has nothing to do with being hungry. I also eat because it taste so good to me. It is all about the flavor. I think I will try it only because I am already eating better and less, This my take it up a noch.

 



Original Post by: Igor

Original Post by: holsfisher

Original Post by: Igor

Original Post by: artytim

Original Post by: lisaw1215

Most people that are overweight and trying to lose will tell you that actual "hunger" isn't making them over-eat. Food tastes good, so we eat it. And eat it, and eat it...


I agree. Excess weight often has nothing to do with hunger.

I don't think this qualifies as a bona fide posting - it looks and sounds like a promotional advert.


When you're running a site for free, people will inevitably wonder how you make money. Our parent company, About.com, has been in business since 1997, and has established itself as one of the most trusted sources of original information and advice. They have a strict ethics policy, which clearly separates editorial and sales teams, and which prohibits money from influencing the message. All the same rules apply at Calorie Count as well.

The reason why this review has a positive tone, is because the research that was conducted by our nutritionist identified this diet as one of the few ones that seem to have a scientific foundation. If this review had been about Atkins, it would have had a different tone (but we don't need to tell you to stay away from Atkins anyway). Should we learn about negative side-effects or research data that put the Sensa Sprinkle Diet in a negative light, we will make sure to update our original article.


My main problem with this whole article is that you say it has a scientific basis but don't explain what it is or provide links to any studies.

To know whether Sensa actually works or just has a placebo effect, you would need to run a proper clinical trial where one group of people used Sensa, one used a fake version, and one group used nothing. You would then need to compare the weight lost by each group. Its meainingless that the people taking Sensa lost 30lbs, if people using a placebo also lose that much in the same time. The way placebos work is very well documented (for instance, see Wikipedia) - if people expect to feel less hungry, then they do feel less hungry, so we would need to know if people taking a placebo lost just as much weight before we could know if Sensa works any better. Withough this kind of unbiased information, this article (intentionally or otherwise) is just a meaningless advertisement for the product.


Point well taken. There are natural limitations to the amount of scientific research we can put towards a review of a diet, and clinical studies are definitely out of our reach. Our information is at least as good as what you would get if you paid a lot of money for a good personal nutritionist, plus you get the benefit of our members' comments. Personally, I do believe that there is value in us doing the research for you, but we've always taken our readers' feedback seriously, and therefore we'll make changes to the format of all our future diet reviews.


Igor,

Thanks very much for your attention to this.

In  your defense, the article does link to a study. But what most people may not notice is that the study  A) was done by the same organization that is promoting the product and B) makes no mention of a control group or being double-blind, etc.

caloricount.about.com could really help out in these cases by pointing that out to people who may not be scientifically minded enough to notice it themselves, and maybe by looking for another study that is better, or reporting that that no other study was found.

For me, I would love to see just a simple but accurate mention of a study, such as "... in a randomized double-blind study by the xyz institute, x number of participants ... "

That at least tells us that the science is being done, and we can look up "xyz institute" on a web search to find out who they are.

Anyway, Thanks to everyone at caloriecount.about.com for an awesome web site!



PS:

Okay, the study does say there were 100 non-treated controls.

But that's still pretty hokey.  Only 100 vs 1436 treated? And non-treated presumably means no placebo. It couldn't have been double blind with no placebo... And I doubt that study participants were randomized into these groups.

Sorry, this is a crappy study. Nearly worthless in my opinion. For a 6 month study, it could have simply been the time of year that caused the weight loss. Maybe the started after Christmas and ended at the end of the summer.



Original Post by: gracecc5249

Right off the bat, $235.00 is a diet plan in itself. This is almost $40.00 a month, the price of my phone bill and internet bill together. I am losing weight right now by leaving out the salt, sugar (except for those products which have them in naturally, like fruitsand vegetables) and some of the fat. I am making better choices and have dropped 33 lbs. I still have about 60 more to go but I am not missing food. It is true, I am not hungry and I do eat because I love the taste of food. Most overweight people I know are the same. So it seems to me that for me, if you enhance the taste of the food, I will eat more not less. Now if the Sensa people want to prove otherwise, then they should do what other reputable companies for products like these are doing - give a free month trial supply. There are a few acai berry product companies alone that are doing this.  Prove me wrong!! Supply the starter kit for free, if it truly works then people will willingly give up the phone and internet and anything else for that matter to buy their product.


All the 30 day free trial does is use self-selection to find the ones who respond to placebo effect.

Also, many of them make you pay big shipping costs or return it for your money back (which most will not bother to do), etc.

Free trials are just another sneaky marketing ploy.



Yup.  Another con.  Sorry to all of us.  It is exercise and eating right that leads to a healthy body.  No magic out there.  I agree with  "headybrew".

All "diets" work for the shortterm.  It is lifestyle changes that make the difference.



Original Post by: jenkar

Yup.  Another con.  Sorry to all of us.  It is exercise and eating right that leads to a healthy body.  No magic out there.  I agree with  "headybrew".

All "diets" work for the shortterm.  It is lifestyle changes that make the difference.


And next your going to tell me there is no Santa Claus!  :^)



I'm a little skeptical. If you read the "Study" you'll see it was done by Dr. Hirsch, himself. There is no evidence that it was done by an independent agency which, in my view, would make this a lot more credible. While not intending to call out the study as fallacious, it would be good if we could see more than one study.



Anyone interested in Sensa, try ebay. I got a 60 day set for $29. Look for the ebayer no.charge.for.shipping. I am going to try it. I have been steadily gaining even after calorie counting and exercise (I believe I have a thyroid problem -- something me and the doc have disagreed on vehemently). So, wtf? I am gonna try it. Will let you know how it goes.



First, important info about me. I have no ties to Sensa in anyway, and I have never tried the product. I'm also a psychology graduate student. What makes the latter point important is that I have access to a university library, meaning that whenever someone says "this study", if it is a scientific study in ANY field, I can find the full text of it.

The quickest way to find out a pseudoscientist is to do a literature search on that person. If they are or have been a practicing scientist (read: the Ph.D. didn't come out of a Cracker Jack box), they will have a research history in peer reviewed journals. Much to my suprise, Dr. Hirsch has search hits all the way back to 1984, which matches what he claims in his CV. These can be found in PsychInfo and PubMed (if you don't have access to these research data bases and really want to see the specifics, send me a message). In other words, this guy is an actual scientist in taste and smell related research.

I first heard of Sensa about six months ago, and I sent an e-mail inquiring about the specific study referred to in the FAQ (rechecking it today, the citation is now posted in the FAQ). I can verify that he presented what he said he did at the listed conference in 2008 (abstract link: http://www.kenes.com/attd2008/program/ViewAbstract.asp), which seems to be a legitimate scientific conference. What this means is that other scientists wanted to hear him talk about this study, which is pretty impressive.

 

Of course, all that proves is that the creator isn't a shill and that the theory behind the product has backing. As for Sensa itself, it's way too expensive for me. If I get a windfall and I still have weight to lose (10 pounds lost so far!), I might try it. If anybody has used it, please share, since the customers do the real-world product testing.



That link didn't yield anything for me, wchriste. I'm just thinking that before I trust any product such as this, I would see that the science was backed up by an independent study.   The fact that he has a PhD, does not exclude anyone from practicing bad science. Thalidamide didn't come out of a cracker jack box, either. The fact that he has a history of solid research, also doesn't exclude him from either making a mistake or slanting that research when there's a ton of money to be made. I'm not saying his findings are false. I'm just saying it bears further investigation. I am a bit more cynical than most, though.  My father used to say, "Believe anything you hear, till they ask for money."

I do agree it's too expensive and I've lost 15 pounds so far and am 5 pounds away from my 150 goal. Keep up the good work, Wchriste.

 



You're right, NYC - the link didn't work when I clicked on it. The site may not allow direct linking like that. This is the link to the conference itself, and I searched under "scientific program" (http://www.kenes.com/attd2008/index.asp).

It's more that I like that Dr. Hirsch, who is evidently well-versed in the scientific method, bothered to do something resembling scientific testing on Sensa. Aside from Alli (which is approved by the FDA), I've never seen a diet product developed by someone who doesn't invoke "ancient wisdom" or whatever they're saying these days on late night TV. Thalidomide is still famous because it is unusual for something to go so horribly wrong when medicine is evidence-based, but it seems like the FDA is pulling diet pills every other month because of how dangerous some of the ingredients are.

Confirmatory studies for the sake of confirmation are mind-bogglingly rare in most fields. It's because journals don't want to repeat each other, and "publish or perish" means that pursuing unpublishable work is an unacceptable waste of time (one of the lovely realities of science that my 5th grade teacher failed to note ><). However, given that this is an actual product, I agree that indepentent testing would be the natural next step if Dr. Hirsch is serious about proving that his product won't be August's FDA headliner. The product certainly has enough pubicity to get some consumer advocate, such as Consumer Reports, interested.

Good luck on the last 5 pounds - you're so close! ^o^



Thanks, W!  I have to confess, my problems arise when winter comes and I have to get off my bicycle!  (I'm an avid rider.)  Thank you also for the nice debate. I would love to see Consumer Reports or an independent lab do a study, that isn't commercially linked to the product's success.

Good luck on your goal too!



I read through most of the comments and didn't see anyone who had ACTUALLY tried SENSA.  I have and am on my 4th month so far I have lost 25 lbs.  Not to shabby, I'm not sure if it actually works or if it's a constant reminder to myself not to pig out.  I eat cause I'm hungry and like to eat. I also have started included exercise into my daily life.  If you can afford it I'd say go for it!



This is an interesting idea (though not one I'm willing to drop nearly $300 to test).

This much I will say: I have pretty intense, ongoing allergic rhinitis and sinusitis.  This means that, much of the time, I have little or no sense of smell.  I do find that I eat less when I can smell and taste food better -- and I also eat better, because a lot of the high-flavor-intensity foods out there (with the exception of spicy foods) aren't that great for you.

I'd be interested in seeing if the studies that support SENSA controlled for the obvious: if the product specifically directs you to chew more slowly, then it's possible that its users feel notice the feeling of fulness after less food simply because it takes a while for the brain to realize that the stomach is no longer empty.  Chewing and therefore eating more slowly and mindfully give that more time to happen.

On the other hand, even if this is only a case of an expensive placebo effect, as long as it doesn't harm people, and helps them as a motivational tool, I'm not going to knock it. 

Dumbo's feather didn't really work, either -- but it didn't hurt him, and he sure did learn how to fly.



Post Your Comment

Join Calorie Count - it's easy and free!
CREATE FREE ACCOUNT
Advertisement
Advertisement