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“Instagraming” Can Lead to Weight Loss, Study Finds

Update Date: Oct 05, 2013 09:50 AM EDT
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Even though Instragram has existed for a few years, it is still a very popular app that people download everyday. People who use Instagram upload pictures of their daily activities, which can range from eating to events. One of the most popular types of photos people take is food. Even though Instagram can filter the image of food and make it look even better, a new study is reporting that constantly viewing Instagram pictures of food can lead to a loss of appetite.

For this study, the research team from Utah's Brigham Young University examined the effects of food pictures on one's appetite. The research team recruited 232 volunteers and asked them to look and rate different pictures of food. The researchers divided the sample set into two groups. The first group of volunteers looked at 60 pictures of dessert-related foods, such as cake, truffles and chocolates. The other group was shown 60 pictures of salty foods, such as pretzels, chips and fries. At the end of the experiment, the researchers gave peanuts to both groups of participants.

The researchers then asked the participants to rate the taste of the peanuts. They discovered that the participants who looked at pictures of salty foods tended to rate the taste of the peanuts lower than people who looked at pictures of sweet foods. Of the 60 pictures of salty foods, none of them were of peanuts.

"In a way, you're becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food," said study co-author and university professor Ryan Elder according to Daily Mail. "It's sensory boredom - you've kind of moved on. You don't want that taste experience anymore. You do have to look at a decent number of pictures to get these effects. It's not like if you look at something two or three times you'll get that satiated effect."

Co-author of the study, Jeffrey Larson added, "If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food. Even I felt a little sick to my stomach during the study after looking at all the sweet pictures we had."

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

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