How Instagram kills your appetite

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Nice pic, but how’s your appetite now?

When faced with a steaming meal, sometimes we just can’t help but whip out our phones and snap a picture for Instagram. Heck, half the pictures on my newsfeed feature hearty meals and colorful pastries. We should probably stop though, because according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, it’s an appetite killer!

The study itself was surprisingly simple. Scientists from Brigham Young University recruited 232 people to look at pictures of food and rate them. Half of them browsed photos of sweets and pastries, while the other half were shown images of salty snacks. Afterwards, all of the volunteers were given a salty treat.

Now, you’d think that the folks drooling over salty potato chips and pretzels would crave that delicious breaded taste, but the effect was just the opposite; they ended up enjoying their snacks less! Why was this? “In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,”said study coauthor Ryan Elder. “It’s sensory boredom, you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

I wonder what implications this has for fast food restaurants that like to run TV commercials over and over. Then again, if we do get bored of the ads, that’s good because fast food definitely isn’t getting any healthier!

Images courtesy of BYU.