Is #FoodPorn Making Us Fat? Learning to handle it

Food and drink content is universal and crosses generational gaps, cultural differences, and even language barriers.

The term food porn is slang, used to describe glamourized photos or videos of food. All that you need for it is a camera, of course, and some delectable food to create the appetizing imagery. Food is huge, after travel it’s the next big social media highlight.

A study, published in the Brain and Cognition journal, argues that our constant viewing of visually appealing foods could be “inadvertently exacerbating our desire for food.”

Food and drink content is universal and crosses generational gaps, cultural differences, and even language barriers. This makes food content an attractive proposition both for media companies looking to monetize their audiences and also for brands looking to reach broad demographics.

Food Porn & its effect on our Dining Habits

According to Bracha Goetz, a Harvard-educated wellness expert and the author of 41 books that help souls shine: www.goetzbookshop.com “The visual presentation of advertised food directly affects our cognitive access to consciousness. The glamorous and colorful images of food trigger psychological hunger. It is rather an impulse and emotion and not physiological.”

50% of foodies say they seek new ingredients in recipe videos they’ve not seen before, making it the most popular type of content. With 46% seeking out indulgent food content, we can see that the #foodporn trend is maturing and foodies value a variety of content. This year, the food topic that has received the most video views is street food and food trucks, beating pizza, burgers, and even healthy foods.

Video content has been highlighted as one of the best ways to influence the consumer habits of foodies. 53% of foodies stated that videos are their favorite type of food content on social media, compared to 35% of foodies who suggest pictures. 54% of foodies save recipe videos on social media so they can make it at home for themselves, showing intent to purchase directly resulting from the content they see on social. What consumers look for the most in video recipes are those that will educate them.

Foodies want convenience, new meals, cost savings, or ways to make impressive meals to share with family and friends.

Dealing with Food Porn

According to Pam Moore, who is a women’s health and fitness journalist, occupational therapist, weight-neutral health coach, and certified personal trainer “The best way to deal with food porn is to eat the food you’re craving. Restriction in any form almost always leads to and/or intensifies cravings. Even if you haven’t actually started a diet yet, your impulse will typically be to eat all the “bad” food you can before you start fresh. And once you are on the diet- the reason you might feel obsessed with everything you’re not supposed to have- is because it’s off-limits.”

She gives an example “Think about a kid who has been told not to push a button or open a door… that’s pretty much all they want to do. Grown-ups aren’t so different.”

Pam thinks an intuitive eating approach is an excellent way to neutralize food and reduce cravings. It’s only when we stop putting strict rules on our food choices, the food choices become less charged… and when we truly give ourselves full permission to eat all foods in any quantity, we ultimately get to a point where we don’t feel the need to have, say, an entire sleeve of cookies, or a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting.

Annie B. Kay MS RDN C-IAYT, holistic dietitian and yoga therapist holds a similar outlook. Out of her experience, she adds “A practice of mindfulness and non-attachment with regard to these gorgeous food photos (AND smells – we all know what Cinnabon smells like!) Can help you to slow down and get as much sensory pleasure as you possibly can from food, and from life. Over time, this practice will help you find out just how much “is enough.”

Mary Ellen Valverde, Licensed Nutritionist’s piece of advice to overcome the pressure is “If an account, magazine, or show is making it hard for you to focus on your health goals, it’s best to take a break from it. Follow accounts on social media that have tasty-looking food with a healthy spin that fits into your diet. This will motivate you to keep with your healthy lifestyle and feel good knowing that food can be nutritious as well as delicious.”

Sheridan, a Holistic Health Coach has found a solution to beat the overriding pressure & suggests it’s time to “Learn hacks so you can enjoy your fave foods, but with a healthy twist. Chocolate brownies? No problem! Make them with sweet potato and black beans (YES, they are AMAZING!). Sweet craving? Make a peppermint and licorice tea…it will take the craving away pronto.” Catch her on Instagram at @itsthesheridanshow.

With practice, you will learn to view food porn with the disdain that it deserves – as nothing but an advertisement for items few people in this country can afford. Follow social media accounts that inspire you!

Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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