Food Shots on Instagram & Facebook Might Actually Help Us Shed Pounds

cupcakesThink about your Instagram account. If you had to summarize the four types of photos there, what categories do you think they'd fall in? For me, it's hands down scenery shots (think sunsets, architecture), happy friends, adorable fashion finds, and the most dominant category of all: Food. I can't even TELL you how many tasty, delectable dishes I see scroll throughout my feed every day. And according to a new study, these food photos could actually make users eat less.

I'm serious! A new study from Brigham Young University found that looking at photos of certain foods on apps like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram can actually curb your appetite for that same food. As in, staring at a perfect chocolate cake during the mid-afternoon lull at your office may make that chocolate decadence at dinner seem MUCH less appealing.


So here, let's break this down, shall we? The study had 232 participants rate pictures of sweet and salty foods, then eat a similar snack. Apparently those who looked at photos of salty foods enjoyed the sweet foods more, because their craving for saltiness had already been satisfied. SO ultimately -- these science types discovered that if one were to look at sweet and salty foods, the desire to eat those foods drops dramatically.

Hmmm. I don't know, y'all. I mean, I won't refute science, but I'm pretty sure that when I see my favorite blogger post photos of her latest concoction -- I'm starved. OK, so starved may be a bit of an exaggeration. I most definitely crave what I see.

With that said, though, when I try to re-create most of the items on my feed, I will admit that I feel like they're never AS good as what I thought they'd be. Maybe that's the catch. Maybe I'll just never be able to duplicate the beautiful treats I scroll through day-to-day. One thing's for sure: No matter what science says, there's no way I'm "unfollowing" any of my fave foodies. All those photos definitely make any average day much, much better.

Do you think Instagram can curb your food cravings?


Image via Emily Abbate

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