instagram food

While sharing photos of your lunch might deliver instant gratification and perusing food photos on Pinterest might make you fall in love with fressh food all over again, looking at all that food porn could atcually be ruining your meal.

A new study from Brigham Young University shows that looking at too many food photos can make the experience of actually eating food less enjoyable. Essentially, a digital overdose of food porn can deaden your senses to the real thing. 

“In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,” said study coauthor and BYU professor Ryan Elder in a statement. “It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

Participants in the study were aksed to view a certain set of photos: half of them looked at 60 photos of sweets and desserts, and the other half looked at photos of salty foods, like chips and French Fries. Afterwards, the participants ate peanuts, a salty food. The participants who had looked at the salty food photos, which didn’t include any specific images of peanuts, enjoyed the peanuts less.

This means looking at well cropped, filtered food photography, i.e. the Instagrams we often refer to as food porn, might feel like an act of food appreciation, but it could be detracting from your next meal. 

“If you want to enjoy your food consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food,” Larson said. “Even I felt a little sick to my stomach during the study after looking at all the sweet pictures we had.”

The experience can also work in reverse, however. The study co-authors pointed out that if you are trying to avoid a certain ingredient, overdosing on food porn that contains it may stop you from binging on the real thing. Trying to stop eating junk food? Find a Pinterest board full of junk food porn to follow.

Obviously the study is based on looking at an overload of photos, so unless you’re really over doing it on food porn your next meal may not be affected. But consider yourself warned. 

Related on Organic Authority:

New Study Claims Best Approach to Weight Loss: Skip The Fads

7 Tricks to Snappin the Ultimate Food Photos

In a Funky Mood? These Food Habits Could be to Blame

Image: Kurtis Garbutt