We love a good pudding. So news of the latest diet fad in America have upset us slightly.
The first 'zero calorie dessert', Vaportrim claims to work with your sense of smell and taste to help you satisfy your cravings, so you feel full, and eat less. Research has shown that 70 to 75% of what you taste is smell, so the idea is that by smelling the dessert rather than eating it, the brain gets that sweet craving without consuming any calories.
Flavours range from classic desserts like Vanilla Cupcake, Apple Pie, to sickly sweet drinks like Caramel Frappe and Pina Colada.
ABOVE: Get your cupcake fix with one easy sniff.
ABOVE: Breakfast treats also get the Vaportrim treatment.
ABOVE: We can't see these coming out in cocktail hour.
So is this the sweet treat of the future, the saviour of dieters everywhere?
Although it doesn't contain anything nasty (no drugs, stimulants, diuretics, or fat blockers) and all the ingredients claim to be safe, there's something bizarre and horribly unnatural about inhaling flavoured water vapour. Yes, the warm and inviting smell of a freshly baked cupcake and the delicious scent of a hot chocolate are half their appeal, but what about the texture, the satisfying inner gooeyness and outer crunch of a warm cookie from the oven, or the cold creamy sensation that comes from devouring a huge bowl of ice cream? True pleasure from eating and indulging in dessert engages so many more senses than just smell.
Plus, we've often found cravings kicking in after eating something delicious - why else do Subway and Domino's pump the smell of baked bread or pizza dough out the window so you catch a whiff as you walk past? So would a sniff of 'Maple Syrup Pancakes' flavoured Vaportrim make us long for brunch?
Whilst they may have already taken off in calorie-conscious Hollywood (Time Magazine reports the Vaportrim Cartridges were inside the Oscar's Gift Bag), we can't see these being so sucessful across the Atlantic. Although we haven't tried Vaportrim, we doubt you can replace a classic British comfort pud with a stick of scented air. But what do you think? Are they a clever way to satisfy cravings, or a ridiculous food fad? Let us know @StylistMagazine or in the comments below.