• Mon, Nov 5 2012

Looking At Food Porn Makes You Want To Eat Food, Says Study In Obviousness

Did you know that if you look at pictures of delicious food, it will make you want to eat said food? Wait, what? I know this is confusing, but stay with me.

Not pictures like the one above, of course, because my food pictures are shit (What is that, even? What did I eat?*), but big, juicy, beautiful photos of chocolate cake and steak tartare and whatever else it is you people like to ogle on the internet. Personally, I enjoy the pictures on Vegansaurus, Vegan Lunchbox, and of course, The Vegan Stoner, but you probably have other favs.

You might hold this truth to be self-evident, but now there are scientists double-confirming what you already know: unless you’re a huge masochist who is always on a diet and enjoys torturing yourself with photos of foods you will never eat, looking at sexy pictures of food will make you more likely to go out and munch on said foods.

Via Women’s Health:

 

“Food was never meant to be experienced from just a visual perspective,” says Amy Sousa, Ph.D., an anthropologist at the Hartman Group, a research consulting firm that tracks food culture. “When we see food, we need to fill in the blanks of what it will taste like. Merely looking makes for an unsatisfying experience.”

And of course, those foods we covet are not very likely to be salads:

“Food porn relies on a phenomenon called supernormal stimuli, which exaggerates qualities we’re already hardwired to love,” says Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program and author of Waistland: The Revolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. Usually, that translates to visual cues that a food is high in calories–things like pooling oils and the sheen of sugar–which were coveted assets back in hunter-gatherer days, when calories (particularly the gooey, fatty ones) were harder to come by.”

But wait, I thought that looking at porn took away your regular libido? I guess that’s only true of sex-porn. Anyway, to help combat food porn related overeating and the resulting feelings of grossness, might I suggest:

1.) Looking at sex-porn instead, because it has fewer calories.

2.) Actually working when you’re at work.

3.) Looking exclusively at pictures of health food.

4.) Saying “fuck you” to societal standards and eating whatever it is your body craves, within reason.

*Just kidding, it was an appetizer plate consisting of cashew cheese, olive tapenade, pickled beets, juniper tofu, watermelon radish, some kind of sweet-ish crackers, and beet reduction, and it was one of the most amazing piles of flavor I’ve ever put in my face. It was the first of four magical courses at Vegan Secret Supper.

(Via Glamour)

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