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Study: Looking At ‘Food Porn’ Makes Eating Less Fun

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By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “Food porn” might actually be more of a turn off to your taste buds.

According to a recent study conducted by Brigham Young University, looking at too many photos of food on Instagram might actually make eating less enjoyable.

To study the correlation between food photos and appetite, researchers recruited 232 people to rate pictures of food. They had half of those people look at 60 photographs of sweets and half look at the same number of salty food photos. After rating the pictures according to how appetizing they looked, the study participants then finished the experiment by eating peanuts, a salty food, and rating how much they enjoyed eating them.

Researchers say those who looked at salty foods then ate the salty peanuts liked eating the peanuts less, even though they never actually saw photos of peanuts. The study leaders were thus able to conclude that over-exposure to so-called “food porn” actually increases people’s satiation, leading them to enjoy the subsequent consumption of similar foods less.

“If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food,” one of the lead researchers said. “Even I felt a little sick to my stomach during the study after looking at all the sweet pictures we had.”

Of course, if you’re on a diet, you probably see the positive side of this research, but if you’d like to enjoy the next meal you eat, there is some good news: Researchers say that the effect increases with the more pictures you view, so looking at just a few shots of a friend’s recent meal online probably won’t affect your appetite.

For more information on the study, click here.

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