Instagram or Insta-kilogram

Visions of tasty foods bombard us constantly on social media, television and in magazines. Our foodie culture is overloading our senses and our abilty to just say “no.”

Our brain has evolved to find nutritious foods and reject poisonous substances. Taste, smell and texture team up with our sense of vision to find them.

The flood of images–called gastroporn– may contribute to our obesity epidemic. A new discussion is worth reading: Eating with our eyes: From visual hunger to digital satiation in Brain and Cognition by Charles Spence and colleagues in October of 2015.

The authors review the role that viewing images may have on neural activity and whether it may lead to increased hunger.

One interesting take is the trend of taking pictures of food at home and restaurants. 

The authors conclude:”Given the essential role that food plays in helping us to live long and healthy lives, one of the key challenges outlined here concerns the extent to which our food-seeking sensory systems/biology, which evolved in pre-technological and food-scarce environments, are capable of adapting to a rapidly-changing (sometimes abundant) food landscape, in which technology plays a crucial role in informing our (conscious and automatic) decisions.”