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Surprising Science

Too Much Food Porn Can Mess With Your Appetite

Researchers found that looking at lots of food photos, such as those posted on Instagram or Pinterest, lessened the viewer's desire for certain foods over time.

What’s the Latest Development?


Brigham Young University researchers Ryan Elder and Jeff Larson asked a group of participants to look at pictures of food and rate each one according to how appetizing the food appeared. They then served peanuts to the participants and asked them to rate how much they enjoyed eating them. Those who had viewed and rated pictures of salty foods — none of which included peanuts — didn’t enjoy the peanuts as much as those who looked at and rated pictures of sweet foods. A paper detailing the research was published in Journal of Consumer Psychology.

What’s the Big Idea?

Too much time spent ogling your friends’ food-obsessed Instagram and Pinterest pages could have a negative effect on your appetite, says Elder: “[Y]ou’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food. It’s sensory boredom…You don’t want that taste experience anymore.” On the flip side, if you’re trying to break an addiction to certain kinds of foods, stuffing yourself via photos could help, but Elder says you’d have to look at a lot of them. “It’s not like if you look at something two or three times you’ll get that satiated effect.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at ScienceDaily


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