ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The so-called “Instagram diet” is growing in popularity and has even received some academic support.

Brigham Young University researchers found that if you look at enough Instagram photos of a certain type of food, it will lower your appetite to eat it.

“While I think it is interesting, I am not sure yet that I think it’s groundbreaking or that this is the key to that weight loss puzzle,” Saint Louis University registered dietician Rabi Rahman said.

The researchers showed people 20 or more pictures of salty foods and then, when presented with peanuts to eat, many of them said “no.” The researchers found similar results with a series of sweet foods.

“In a way, you’re becoming tired of that taste without even eating the food,” the study’s coauthor and BYU professor Ryan Elder explained. “It’s sensory boredom – you’ve kind of moved on. You don’t want that taste experience anymore.”

Researchers stressed that the effect becomes stronger as more photos are viewed and that looking at two or three photos on your Facebook page won’t have the same effect.

“I definitely think it’s worth exploring and looking at whether we can use social media in another way to really reach a large number of people in an effective way to really get the word out on how we can curb obesity,” Rahman added.


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