Instagram Will Ruin Your Meal

Study says you should put away your phone and just eat your food

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Ana Arevalo / AFP / Getty Images

When your friend stops you from digging into your delicious meal so that she can Instagram the food, it spoils the eating experience. And there’s science to prove that.

A new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says that over-exposure to food photos on Instagram ruins your meal. Marketing professors at Brigham Young University asked 232 people to look at and rate pictures of food.

Half of the participants looked a pictures of sweet food (cakes, pastries), half at pictures of salty food (pretzels, chips). Both groups were then asked to have a salty food snack. Those who had looked at pictures of salty food enjoyed their snack less.

“In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,” study coauthor Ryan Elder said on the Brigham website. “It’s sensory boredom — you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

6 comments
chelseyisu
chelseyisu

I'm not sure if I think that taking a Instagram photo ruins the meal or not while eating, but I do believe that by looking at the photos you can experience this "sensory boredom." As a regular "instagram-er?" I can definitely believe that this true due to personal experience. It's an interesting aspect on social media though... maybe this is the next fad diet!  

stefanpinto
stefanpinto

Instagram may be ruining your meal may be exactly what some people want to have happen. Since the choices we make about the food we eat is primarily and firstly based on convenience, then those very photos we are posting to Instagram, and often by default, to Facebook not only boast about our consumption but our caloric intake. Have your researchers considered that posting photos of food on social networks is one of the most popular means of updating one's status, and by doing so, they are actually (subliminally even) divulging their eating habits? It would be fair game if comparison can be made as to the caloric quality of food compared to the weight struggles and or successes of the person doing the posting.

ManuelGarza
ManuelGarza

This article is complete hogwash. Eating has always mostly been a social event. For me and many people I know, sharing our food pics on social media helps keep us accountable because it starts a conversation. And if it makes me less interested in eating something salty or sweet, well, isn't that a good thing?

rchdw1
rchdw1

i'm just waiting for someone to start a website called fecies book, where you can post what the food looks like after you've eaten it.... like!

edbrand9
edbrand9

If food photos curb appetites, then why does every fast food restaurant in America plaster their walls and menus with them?!