From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Smells can be a window into feeling. Julie Mennella of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia noticed that among 5- to 8-year-old children of mothers who drank.
Mennella asked the mothers why they drank; some said it was to relieve tension or worry. And she asked the children to smell beer and other odors, including one like rotten eggs.
Mennella says children of mothers who drank to reduce tension or worry preferred even the smell of rotten eggs to beer.
Mennella finds a lesson here for the mothers:
``Even if you hide the bottle of beer or glass of wine, children are smelling these odors in the home or emanating from your breath, and they are forming associations with your moods and the reasons to why you drink.’’ (10 seconds)
The study in the journal Alcohol was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011