Instagram Could Help You Lose Weight

Or ruin your meal
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2013 6:58 PM CDT
Instagram Could Help You Lose Weight
Instagram is demonstrated on an iPhone.   (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

The next new big diet fad could be Instagram and Pinterest, thanks to a new study that found just looking at photos of food can make eating less appealing. Researchers at Brigham Young University showed 232 people photos of food—half salty, and half sweet—and asked them to rate the pictures. The test subjects were then fed salted peanuts, and asked to rate their enjoyment. The study found that those who had looked at photos of salty foods found the peanuts less satisfying than those who looked at sweet photos—even though they weren't shown any photos of peanuts, reports TechCrunch.

"In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food," says one of the researchers, per the Salt Lake Tribune. "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 large number of photos for the effect to take place, say the authors—the subjects in this study looked at 60. So foodies who like scouring Instagram for food pics may want to limit their photo intake if they still want to enjoy their meals—and dieters may want to start searching for all the dessert photos they can find. (More Instagram stories.)

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