November 1, 2014
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Too many pictures on Instagram ruins appetite
:Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) found that looking at too many pictures of food can actually make it less enjoyable to eat.
Researchers found that if people who take pictures of everything they eat and posting it on Instagram or Pinterest, may ruins their appetite by making them feel like already experienced eating that food.
"In a way, 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 anymore," said study coauthor and BYU professor Ryan Elder.
Elder and coauthor Jeff Larson, both marketing professors in BYU's Marriott School of Management, said that over-exposure to food imagery increases people's satiation. Satiation is defined as the drop in enjoyment with repeated consumption. Or, in other words, the fifth bite of cake or the fourth hour of playing a video game are both less enjoyable than the first. Larson and Elder recruited 232 people to look at and rate pictures of food.
In one of their studies, half of the participants viewed 60 pictures of sweet foods like cake, truffles and chocolates, while the other half looked at 60 pictures of salt foods such as chips, pretzels and french fries. After rating each picture based on how appetising that food appeared, each participant finished the experiment by eating peanuts, a salty food. Participants then rated how much they enjoyed eating the peanuts.
In the end, the people who had looked at the salty foods ended up enjoying the peanuts less, even though they never looked at peanuts, just at other salty foods. The researchers said the subjects satiated on the specific sensory experience of saltiness. Larson and Elder, along with University of Minnesota coauthor Joseph Redden, published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
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