Photographed by Alice Gao.
Sure, we all complain about the ubiquity of food porn in our social streams. But now, we've got good reason to either rejoice or avoid the pixelated poultry until after our dinners: The "Instagram diet" is officially a real, scientific thing.
Scientists found that staring at virtual nourishment actually makes our IRL food taste...worse. Yes, worse. In a study conducted at Brigham Young University, people were given pictures of either sweet or salty foods to look at, then offered peanuts to eat and asked to rank them based on enjoyment factor. Even though the salty-picture crew hadn't been shown pics of peanuts, the fact that they had looked at salty foods apparently diminished their appreciation of the nuts. They ranked them as less enjoyable than did the people who had been viewing cakes and cookies.
"In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food," co-author Ryan Elder said in a statement. Sad. So, the next time you're headed out for a decadent dinner, you might want to skip all the Instagramming beforehand — it might make your food taste disappointingly boring. (The Salt Lake Tribune)