Home > Diet and nutrition > News Updated 07 October 2013 How Instagram can ruin your dinner Warning Instagrammers: you might want to stop taking so many pictures of your food as research shows it could ruin the enjoyment of eating it. 0 iStock Related Big breakfast good for fertility 1 in 8 people around the world goes hungry McDonald's aims for healthier food by 2020 Vit & Min doses per day » Count calories in food » Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Ask The Dietitians » 10 foods to boost your immune system Your quick guide to Banting New research out of BYU finds that looking at too many pictures of food can actually make it less enjoyable to eat.Turns out your friend’s obsession with taking pictures of everything they eat and posting it on Instagram or Pinterest may be ruining your appetite by making you feel like you've already experienced eating that food.“In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,” said study co-author and BYU professor Ryan Elder. “It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”So if you’re on Instagram all day looking at all of the salads your friends post, you’re probably not going to enjoy your next salad quite as much.Drop in enjoymentElder and co-author Jeff Larson, both marketing professors in BYU’s Marriott School of Management, said what happens is the 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.To reveal this food-photo phenomenon, 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 appetizing 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 say the subjects satiated on the specific sensory experience of saltiness.Larson and Elder, along with University of Minnesota co-author Joseph Redden, published their findings in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.Works in reverse too“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.”Then again, Larson said, if you have a weakness for a certain unhealthy food, say, chocolate, and want to prevent yourself from enjoying it, you may want to look at more pictures of that food.The authors said the effect is strongest the more pictures one views. Thus, if you’ve only got a few friends who post food pics on your social media feed, you’re probably OK to keep following them.“You do have to look at a decent number of pictures to get these effects,” Elder said. “It’s not like if you look at something two or three times you’ll get that satiated effect.”That’s good news for food-photo enthusiasts, because, let’s be honest, showing everyone the awesome food you’re eating really is cool. EurekAlert NEXT ON HEALTH24X Hydration: how much is too much? 2018-08-30 11:00 More: Diet and nutritionNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Social media posts may hint at depression long before clinical diagnosis Medical Eczema? Would you consider taking a bleach bath? Parenting Countries that ban spanking see less teen violence News Mom’s life is ruined after mystery sickness makes her look anorexic Parenting Breast milk may boost preemies' brain development Parenting Could same-sex couples have babies with shared DNA? Study hints it's possible From our sponsors Dementia and Incontinence: what you need to know Tell-tale signs you need a mattress upgrade Keen to win a R2 000 voucher? Good health begins in your gastrointestinal tract Live healthier Gut health » Can't lose weight? Blame it on your gut Our nutrition experts weigh in on why gut health is such an important factor in weight loss, on World Obesity Day. Sleep better » Yes, there is such a thing as too much sleep A new study confirms that too little sleep can impair your brain, but interestingly, too much sleep is also a problem.