Sensa (diet)

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Alan Hirsch presenting at Cusp Conference 2009, Chicago, IL

Sensa is a brand of diet aid created by Alan Hirsch, an American neurologist and psychiatrist.

Sensa is a crystallized product made of maltodextrin, tricalcium phosphate, silica, and flavoring. Sensa is sprinkled onto food like salt or sugar, and is claimed to enhance the specific scents of food, while tricking the brain into believing the person has had enough to eat. Hirsch calls this process "sensory-specific satiety".[1] While some refer to a "Sensa diet" when using the product, there is no specific diet regimen or list of food restrictions associated with Sensa.

Hirsch says there was a peer-reviewed study by the Endocrine Society supporting the claim that subjects lost over thirty pounds using Sensa. However, the Endocrine Society says they did not review the study. On ABC's news magazine program 20/20, the Endocrine Society stated they "were surprised and troubled by the promotional nature of his presentation."[2]

None of Sensa's internal studies have been confirmed by peer-reviewed medical journals.[3]

In 2013, the marketers of Sensa paid $905,000 to settle false advertising charges in California after an investigation by the Statewide Nutritional Supplement Task Force determined they were making unsubstantiated claims regarding the efficacy of their products and making unauthorized charges to customers.[4][5][6]

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