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Inside Beat

Think twice before searching #foodporn on Instagram

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Everybody likes to feast with their eyes, just admit it. It may seem like you are able to kick your cravings by gazing at food porn on Instagram, but is it really just making you hungrier?

I don't know about you, but when I sift through the massive amounts of #foodporn pictures on Instagram, all of the sudden I feel like I'm capable of inhaling a pizza from Panico's. Now that doesn't sound too healthy if you ask me, so good thing I have superb self-control. Damn you, #foodporn — I blame you. 

I mean, who wouldn't think a lava cake with a chocolate fountain oozing out of it looks delightful? Just imagine cutting that cake down the middle, watching the chocolatey goodness pour right out of it. I'm torturing myself right now just thinking about it. It is only a matter of time before those Tasty videos get complaints.  

You college kids might think I'm nuts, but I'm not just conjuring this stuff up in my mind — there's actually scientific information backing up this theory.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, research published in the Brain and Cognition medical journal suggests that #foodporn maximizes our hunger physiologically, causing people to overeat due to a desire to eat the food we see. 

Well that explains a lot. No wonder I downed those two donuts last night — curse you, #donutporn. 

Dani Roth, a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore, agrees that visualizing food-gasmic grub on Instagram has an impact on our appetite.

"The pictures and videos these accounts post are visual cues, and psychologically impacts you to crave those fatty, high-caloric food, even when you're not hungry," Roth said. "On these accounts, such as foodporn, you are more likely to see french fries, a burger, ice cream and highly saturated fat, unhealthy foods. I rarely ever see a salad or a bowl of fruit on Instagram, and honestly if I were to see healthier foods, it wouldn't be as appealing to me as compared to Nutella-stuffed french toast."

The things I'd do for some Nutella stuffed french toast right now — I am such a bad example. Why must a picture of french toast cause so much chaos? Maybe they should just be censored — then all problems would be solved.

Even though Brain and Cognition claims #foodporn is taboo, it is also possible that such splendid photos have no effect at all.

Nicole Hennessy, an Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy third-year student, thinks a picture does not have the power to make people shove food in their mouth.

"It may make them hungry, but people are ultimately lazy and won't make the food or go get it unless they really want it — so I don't think a picture has that much power," Hennessy said. 

Next time you hunt down some mouth-watering Instagram #foodporn at midnight, think again. It just might get you into trouble. If you really can't help yourself, just delete Instagram — just kidding, that's crazy talk. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go find some of that Nutella-stuffed french toast.


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