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    Oct 07, 2013

    Looking at food pics could ruin appetite

    LOOKING at too many photos of food on websites such as Instagram and Pinterest can actually spoil your appetite, according to researchers.

    That is because just looking at the pictures would make one feel like he has already eaten that food, said researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah.

    "In a way, you're becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food," AFP Relaxnews reported, quoting the study's co-author, marketing professor Ryan Elder.

    A total of 232 people were recruited for the study, where they viewed and rated photographs of food.

    In one experiment, half of the participants saw 60 photos of sweet treats, such as cake and chocolate, while the other half looked at 60 pictures of salty snacks, such as chips, pretzels and fries, said AFP Relaxnews.

    The participants were then asked to rate each photo based on how appetising that food appeared. They finished the experiment by eating peanuts and then rating how much they enjoyed the snack.

    Those who had looked at the salty foods said they enjoyed the peanuts less, even though they had not looked at pictures of peanuts, AFP Relaxnews reported.

    This effect was not observed among those who saw the images of the sweet treats.

    "If you want to enjoy your food-consumption experience, avoid looking at too many pictures of food," said co-author and marketing professor Jeff Larson, who was quoted in AFP Relaxnews.