The Italian Almanac

love at first sight

Italian Science - April 14

Falling in love is the quickest way to lose weight, according to Italian diet experts. Love as the (diet) drug works because it sets off a reaction that lessens appetite and increases feelings of satiety. The benefits of that many-splendored thing are especially helpful to dieters fighting the over-40 girth wars.

If what the experts (nutritionists, psychologists, food gurus) say is true it's detrimental to their own livelihood: 80% of people shed pounds if they fall in love and are able to reach their target weight without struggling. The 74 diet professionals polled admitted that following your heart can be just as effective as following a healthy eating plan or exercising and was nearly as effective for men (45%) as for women (55%).

The downside to l'amore as a diet aid is the duration -- the so-called 'cupid effect' tends to wear off after marriage or, in the most rosy scenario, lasts until the first child is born.

"With passion, a neurochemical wave is activated that is transformed into psycho-physical well-being, " said Alfonso Logoro, neurologist and psychiatrist. "Recent research would confirm that this joy in living lasts from 18 months to three years."