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Does Instagram and FoodPorn affect your eating?

Written by Biggie on April 5, 2016
Jake Parker illustrated taking pictures of your food on instagram

Instagram and FoodPorn: Make you drool or meal killer?

I’ve written about how studies have shown that when someone makes you a sandwich it tastes better than when you make it yourself. “Make me a Sandwich! Why it tastes better when they do”

What about taking a picture of it?  Or what about looking at pictures of food before you eat it.  Do you think it would affect your meal?

Deli Fresh Threads group shot wearing sandwich t-shirts

Shop for your t-shirt at  DeliFreshThreads.com

I am guilty of it.  I take pictures of my all my delicious sandwiches and I look at quite a bit of FoodPorn on Instagram and Facebook.  I just enjoy looking at tasty food.

Depending on who you ask you will be told that taking or looking at pictures does affect how your food tastes. There have been 2 studies that say Instagramming your food could make it taste better  and How Instagram can ruin your appetite.  Lets look at both studies:

Instagramming your Food could make it taste better

The Journal of Consumer Marketing says that when you are about to enjoy an indulgent meal and take pictures of it,  you are actually allowing yourself to savour the experience, which would make your food taste even better.  All thanks to wanting to Instagram that tasty sandwich in front of you.

So maybe next time you should stop and take a pic before you bite away at that sandwich. It could make it taste better.

Instagram can ruin your appetite

Researchers from Brigham Young University wrote about when you look at pictures of food you are going to less likely enjoy the taste of it.  Their reasoning is that it will make “you feel like you’ve already experienced eating that food.”

Study co-author, Ryan Elder says “In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food.” “It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

Their study had over 200 subjects divided and they looked at a large variety of sweet and salty foods.  After they saw all the pictures they then consumed the sweet and salty foods and stated that they enjoyed it less after looking at the pictures of them.

Co-Author of the study Jeff Larson concluded: “If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food.”

So what is the right answer?

Take pictures of your food so you can enjoy it but don’t spend too much time looking at those pictures because you will enjoy it less?  I think it depends on the person.  I can see why food tastes better when you are taking pictures of it- you are prolonging that first bite and that hunger builds up.

I can see both sides of looking at Food Porn.  Pro– you become more hungry looking at the food and possibly crave it.  Con– The food you are about to eat may not look as good as the pictures you are looking at- hence hindering your meal enjoyment.  However the photos could also get you even more hungry for what you are about to eat.

Whats do you think? Is Instagram good or bad for you and your eating? Let me know.  Tweet me @DeliFreshThrds or leave me a comment.


Featured Image is courtesy of Jake Parker. Check him out at twitter, instagram & online.

Jake also did a video about The Future of Instagram- how Instagram is changing, here’s what he thinks you can do to make the most of it.