Recent Weight Gain? Instagram Might be Responsible For That.

For the majority of todays generation, Instagram has become the easiest and most popular method of capturing, sharing, and transforming photos. Instagram has taken photographs to a whole new level. All in one app you are provided with an abundance of filters to play around Instagram-Featured-Imagewith, and you can even share your photos and videos with people all around the world. From people to scenery to food, Instagram displays it all.

Now you may be thinking what’s not to love about this? Yes Instagram is an awesome app, but can it affect your health?

Pile of unhealthy sugary cakes

Getty Images/Ikon Images

I would be lying if I were to say that I do not follow a handful of Instagram accounts that solely post pictures of food. As I scroll through my Instagram feed, these eye catching photos of a variety of foods never fail to leave me salivating and more hungry than I was prior to opening Instagram. I always think to myself “how could this be harmful? I’m ONLY looking at the pictures, not actually eating the foods that are photographed in them.” Well to my surprise, numerous scientists have begun to link the excessive viewing of food pictures to weight gain. Articles headlining this growing topic have been featured in New York Magazine, as well as in Cosmopolitan magazine. After research, Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University concluded that “seeing food on social media has a very real effect on our eating habits”.

Now of course, if you were to look at pictures of less appealing foods, this issue most likely will not have an impact on you. With that being said, it is nearly impossible to stumble upon an Instagram account that posts pictures of food that are anything less than 5-star quality.

Mouth-watering photographs of indulgent foods also commonly known as “food porn” tend to 1445292207-instagram-lose-weightrange from pizza to cookies to cake to cheeseburgers can be found on almost any food Instagram account. The insanely easy access to all of these photographs contribute to an increase in the linkage between food pictures and weight gain. To further prove this claim, other studies have been conducted and have found that “images of foods with high fat content hit the brain faster and with more impact (kind of like actual high-fat foods)”. Who would have thought that a simple image of food could physically affect you. According to Cosmopolitan writer Elizabeth Narins, some of these physical affects include, “making you salivate, messing with insulin levels, and even shaking up your heart rate”.

Obviously these results do not entail weight gain for all viewers, but if you’re a person that tends to give in to temptation, then maybe it is time to reassess who you follow on Instagram!

Additional Sources:

http://mic.com/articles/127115/looking-at-food-on-instagram-could-be-unhealthy-for-us

http://www.details.com/story/instagram-might-be-making-you-fat

7 thoughts on “Recent Weight Gain? Instagram Might be Responsible For That.

  1. ngf5020

    This blog is so relevant today. Our generation loves a lot of things, but we have a strong love for food and social media. By combining the two, theres nothing better. By looking at all of this food, it is obviously going to make you hungry. Either it is going to make you want to buy the inertness and make it, or get your hands on something similar.

  2. Samantha Marie Grillo

    I was intrigued when I saw the title of this blog post, and it was interesting to read about the correlation between looking at photos of food and weight gain. However, there has to be a third variable involved because it would be impossible for Instagram to actually be the direct cause of someone’s weight gain. I do agree that looking at good food can make people hungry; it happens to me all the time.

    Here is a link to a fun food account on Instagram: https://instagram.com/foodydiy/

  3. Jiamin Shan

    It is such a cool blog. I admit that social media has brought so much influence to us and I do see a lot of food pictures online. However, it never comes to me that food pictures can cause people to gain weight. I do feel hungry very time I see food pictures on my phone, and I just let this thought pass naturally, so it is hard for me to believe someone actually did research on this top. The blog you wrote makes begin to wonder if there are more studies explaining the effect of other kinds of pictures on social medias.

  4. Alyssa Hope Cooper

    I am guilty of doing this. When I’m scrolling through Instagram and see a food account, I stop and stare at how good it looks for a couple of minutes. I can’t help it. It just looks so good and I want to eat whatever it is. I think that more research needs to be done to really show if this can happen. More experiments and trials need to be performed. I decided to do more research on this topic. Some researchers say that “over-exposure to food imagery increases people’s satiation, effectively filling up your brain instead of your stomach.” http://consumerist.com/2013/10/08/does-looking-at-photos-of-food-on-instagram-make-you-less-hungry/

  5. Bailee Cooper

    Whenever I look at pictures of food, I start to get hungry. A study at the Max Planck Institute found that when subjects looked at tempting foods, “the concentration of ghrelin in the bloodstream increased”. Ghrelin is a hormone in the body that controls biological processes dealing with metabolism and eating habits. The higher the concentration of ghrelin, the more tempting foods are. Perhaps this is why looking at these types of foods make us want them and crave them. Here is more information: http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/pictures-delicious-food-may-contribute-weight-gain

  6. Jared Yale Perecman

    This blog is a very cool read. Of course we all have these experiences with these Instagram accounts, but it is very hard for me to believe that looking at the food can cause weight gain. The two things may be correlated, but effected by another variable. The people looking at the food may just like to eat more to begin with. This has nothing to do with actually looking at the pictures. Heres an awesome account: https://instagram.com/buzzfeedfood/?hl=en

  7. Kristen

    This is definitely an interesting read. I always find it interesting how all these people post photos of food-typically unhealthy food and whether or not people are buying more unhealthy but good looking food in hopes of just getting Instagram likes and also what affect it has on those who view the photos and whether or not they want to buy unhealthy food after viewing these Instagram photos. Definitely more research needs to be done considering this is a new topic with social media but I think ultimately the social pressure is what drives most of this. This article shows the best Instagram food accounts. Check it out! https://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/best-food-porn-on-instagram

Leave a Reply