Ask the Dietitian: What do you think of the weight loss additive Sensa?

Q: What do you think of the weight loss additive Sensa?

A: Sensa is considered a scent-based weight loss product that supposedly reduces one’s appetite when it is sprinkled on food. In the commercial, Sensa is sprinkled on top of food similarly to how one would sprinkle salt onto her/his food.  According to its website, Sensa will reduce one’s appetite when sprinkled onto any kind of food, thus leading to weight loss. Sensa is made out of maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate and silica as well as “a patented blend of flavor combinations.” Sensa is NOT FDA- approved and the fact that the manufacturer does not disclose all the ingredients makes me a little wary. The “large research studies” that showed weight loss when using Sensa were funded and run by Dr. Alan Hirsch, the creator of Sensa. Since the creator and potential profiteer was in charge of the studies, there would likely be bias about the operations of the studies. The studies also did not reveal whether or not the participants in the studies were able to keep the weight off long-term after using Sensa.

My conclusion: I would not recommend Sensa. The truth is, appetite and sensory perception are much more complex than what this product advertises. Whenever anything looks too good to be true, it probably is.