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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 21 September, 2014

Instagramming food may actually hurt your taste buds

Put down the phone… unless you’re on a diet.

EVERY TIME YOU Instagram a burger, a little taste bud is killed.

A new study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, found that looking at too many photos of food may effect your perceptions of how it tastes.

The study by the Brigham Young University’s School of Management found that you don’t have to try the food to grow sick of it, but merely seeing the grub is enough.

232 students were shown 60 Instagram food photos each, and asked to rate food based on how good they looked.

How would you rate em?

10/10?

Instagram

Source: georgetowncupcake

… 2/10?

Made lunch for the guys: Oxtail soup.

Source: kealalalove

However, half of the participants were given perfectly lit sweet food while the others were given savoury food to look at.

After subjecting themselves to the filtered snaps, participants were all given peanuts for participating–no, actual peanuts, to eat. Those who had been looking at the salty snacks said they didn’t enjoy them as much as those viewing the sweets did.

But what about the study that said it made the food taste better? It seems it’s all about how much you view. Professor and co-author of the study, Ryan Elder says that the result is all about ‘satiation’, and participants growing sick of the sight of something regardless of it ever touching your tastebuds:

You’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food. It’s sensory boredom. You’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience any more.

However, you’d have to look at a pretty sizeable chunk of Instagram foodie photos before it will turn you off, with Elder adding:

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.

However, there’s nothing stopping you from using the study to your advantage, in what could be the prettiest diet known to man.

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