Sharing food on Instagram is bad for your waistline

Sharing photos food on Instagram and other social media sites could be bad for your waistline, claims new study

  • Sharing snaps of treats on sites such as Instagram could be bad your waistline
  • Research shows it takes diners who photograph their meals longer to feel full
  • Surveys suggest almost 70 per cent of millennials regularly share images of food

It’s one of the most common themes on social media platforms.

But sharing snaps of tasty treats on sites such as Instagram before tucking into them could be bad your waistline.

Research shows it takes diners who photograph their meals longer to feel full and leaves them more likely to want a second serving.

Surveys suggest almost 70 per cent of millennials – those born in the eighties and nineties – regularly share images of food online before eating it

Every year, billions of smartphone pictures are posted on social media by food lovers wanting to share their experience with others.

Surveys suggest almost 70 per cent of millennials – those born in the eighties and nineties – regularly share images of food online before eating it.

Previous studies have found there are some benefits.

One showed it made food taste better, because taking snaps makes the brain concentrate more on the smell and taste of the food.

But it’s a controversial trend, with some restaurants banning pictures at the table because it can disturb other customers and the food gets cold.

Researchers at Georgia Southern University in the US recruited 145 students and split them into two groups.

Both were given plates of cheese crackers to nibble but half were told to stop and take a picture first.

Every year, billions of smartphone pictures are posted on social media by food lovers wanting to share their experience with others

Immediately after eating them, volunteers were asked to rate how much they liked them and whether they wanted more. The results, published in the journal Appetite, showed those taking snaps of the crackers scored higher in terms of enjoyment and wanting seconds.

Picture-taking, researchers said, seems to change the way the brain perceives food and increases the craving for more calories. They wrote: ‘Memories of food and the act of recording consumption can affect how much we eat.

‘Our results indicate picture-taking leads to greater wanting of the food following consumption.’ The effects were most noticeable in volunteers given smaller portions – six crackers instead of 12.

Researchers warned: ‘Those seeking to eat smaller portions, especially of tempting foods that they want to cut back on, should avoid taking pictures of what they are eating.’

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