Is Instagram Making You Gain Weight?

When it comes to food porn, looking (but not touching) can catch up to your waistline.

pork-burger
Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Even if you managed to stretch your New Year's resolution to spring and avoid actually eating those cheesy, sugary, or carb-heavy treats, you could be gaining weight simply by looking at the food porn on Instagram and Pinterest. Seriously!

According to a recent study, photographs of visually appealing, high-fat foods cause blood to rush to the part of the brain related to taste—making you want to eat, even if you’re not hungry. In other words, looking at that juicy burger dripping with cheese and extra-crispy bacon will make you want to eat something just as satisfying.

Before you unfollow your favorite sinful ‘grammers, let’s discuss the premise of the whole study: The brain is linked to hunger, but you can learn to manipulate it in order to quell those hunger signals. When pizza with outrageously gooey cheese flashes across your screen just before lunch, all you have to do is remember the last thing you ate. A healthy bowl of oatmeal for breakfast does the trick just as well as a bagel smothered in cream cheese and lox. And let’s be honest: anyone who posts a pizza picture beautiful enough to make you salivate deserves to be followed.