Instagram Is Ruining Your Appetite

It’s true! Science has confirmed what many of us strongly suspected: the pleasure you take from eating isn’t quite as great if you look at pictures of that food before you dig in.

Instagram literally spoils your appetite.

Students who participated in the Journal of Consumer Psychology study conducted by Brigham Young University and the University of Minnesota reported enjoying certain salty foods less after reviewing and rating images of similar foods—and that the level of satisfaction with the act of eating decreased in direct proportion to the number of images viewed.

Researchers explained their findings, saying:

“Simulating food consumption begins the process of satisfaction.”

“It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

This could be bad news for restaurants, many of which encourage Instagrammers despite the fact that no one wants to see a flashing iPhone while eating dinner in a dimly-lit restaurant—especially if they paid top dollar for the experience.

It’s OK, though: you’re not alone in that compulsive desire to photograph your food. The best-known celebrity chefs and people who eat weird things for a living do it, too.

For what it’s worth, the fried chicken and waffles in the picture still look every bit as delicious to us as they were when we ate them. But if we had to look at pictures of juicy breasts all day we can see how we might be a little less excited.