Dining inspo? Instagram is our go-to food emporium – whether we’re perusing cakes or casseroles. But while flicking through people’s Instagram feeds to glorify at peoples delicious food seems totally harmless, it’s apparently effecting our own feeding patterns.
Yep, according to a new study in the journal Brain and Cognition, just looking at snaps of food on the social media app is causing people to want to eat more.
“Regular exposure to virtual foods nowadays, and the array of neural, physiological, and behavioral responses linked to it, might be exacerbating our physiological hunger way too often,” the authors write in the journal.
So basically, every time you post that picture on your Instagram or look at someone else’s, your hunger level goes way up – telling your body you need to feast even if you’re not physically feeling that hungry. So if you’ve been wondering why you’ve been consuming more calories of late, it may be down to excess tech consumption, which produces a form of phantom hunger.
Which, let’s face it, is pretty hard to avoid considering Instagram is the number one source for food porn. But these images apparently creates a physiological response – spiking your insulin level so your body is prepared for the food it thinks it’s about to eat.
And if you haven’t been put off already, the study suggests that seeing tons of photos associated with a particular taste (a mouth watering brownie anyone?) actually decreases your enjoyment when you actually experience that taste.
Although this new research suggests there is a correlation between devouring Instagram and food, you may not need to go on a digital detox all together. But perhaps if you’re feeling particularly hungry to skip over the sweets and treats pictures – we still want to enjoy the taste of that brownie…
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By Emma Firth