We’ve all rolled our eyes at the person in the restaurant trying to get the perfect picture of their spag bol for Instagram, but it seems they could be the ones with a tastier meal.
According to a new study, people who Instagram their food could enjoy more flavourful dishes, reports the Daily Mail.
Scientists based at the University of San Diego and Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia recruited 131 keen foodies, who were split into two groups. All of the participants were given a healthy meal and a more decadent treat to enjoy.
One of the groups was told to tuck in right away, while the other was asked to take an Instagram snap.
Everyone then had to rate how tasty they thought the dishes were. The researchers found that when it came to the sweet treats, people tended to enjoy them more if they had taken an Instagram snap first.
But why? The researchers believe this is because we tend to pay more attention to the flavours, smells and looks of a meal when we’re taking a photo of it, particularly if we’re also thinking of hashtags to add to the post.
However, when it came to how participants perceived the taste of the healthy meals they were given to eat, there weren’t any significant differences in how delicious the photo-taking group found them compared to the other group.
Researchers decided to test this further by giving both groups a red velvet cupcake. One group was told it had been made with slightly healthier ingredients like low-fat frosting, while the other was told it was an indulgent full-fat treat.
People who thought they were eating something more decadent rated the cake as tastier, even though both cupcake batches were really the same.
This shows just how easily our perceptions of food can be affected by how healthy we think something is, and suggests that we get much more pleasure from Instagramming treats than we do from uploading healthier meals.
What’s more, the study authors believe that when the Instagram likes and comments start to roll in, gratification theory comes into play, meaning we find the food even more enjoyable.
If taking the time to upload a photo of your favourite desserts helps you to enjoy them all the more, it looks like #InstaFood is the way to go!