'Sprinkle Diet' Helping People Shed Pounds
Mallika Marshall, MD
BOSTON (WBZ) ― Dolly Kiosea says she's losing weight without giving up the food she loves. "I'm eating fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, I love steak," she said. She doesn't have to pass on the pizza, cookies or even double chocolate cake. "I've lost twenty eight pounds so far," she said.
Dolly's secret is in salt-like sprinkles developed by Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research foundation. "They're a unique blend of different flavors and salty flavors, things like cheddar cheese, mocha, horseradish," he said. They have no calories and all the ingredients are approved for use in food products. You simply shake them on whatever you eat: the salty ones on savory things and the sweet ones on things like yogurt, cereal with milk and desserts.
"What we're doing is intensifying the smell and taste of food," explained Dr. Hirsch. "It makes your brain perceive that you have eaten more than you have and thus you eat less and lose weight."
Dolly says the sprinkles have helped her cut down on her portion sizes. "I used to go out for sushi and I used to eat four or five rolls," she said. "Now I'm mostly just having one roll."
Doctor Hirsch just completed a peer-reviewed clinical study of nearly 1,500 people who used the sprinkles on everything they ate, without changing their diet or exercise routine. "We found an average weight loss over six months of 35.5 pounds," he said.
Eliza Zied of the American Dietetic Association says she's intrigued by the findings, but she wonders what happens if you stop sprinkling. "If you're not doing what you did to lose weight, probably you won't be able to keep the weight off," she said.
Dr. Hirsch hasn't studied the long-term effects yet, however he's heard from some study participants who stopped using the product. He says they are keeping the weight off and some are continuing to lose more. "Our hope is that as people lose 20, 30, 40 pounds, they begin to feel better about themselves. They would inadvertently get greater exercise and induce a greater snowball effect causing them to get further weight loss," he said.
Dolly hopes the sprinkles will help her lose at least another 20 pounds. "I feel so good knowing that I finally found something that's really working for me," she said.
The sprinkles are called Sensa. They will be available for sale online in Mid-June at trysensa.com.