If you’re feeling hungry, looking at pictures of food might help, according to a new study published in the journal Appetite. The study from researchers in the Netherlands and Japan found that viewing images of appetizing food on a mobile phone can diminish feelings of hunger.
The study involved over 500 participants who completed a web-based survey that tested their food cravings and hunger levels. The participants were randomly shown one of three visuals on their smartphone: a picture of a hamburger, a waterfall, or a neutral image.
The results of the study showed that participants who were shown the image of the hamburger reported lower levels of hunger compared to those who saw the waterfall or neutral image. Researchers also found that those who saw the hamburger picture were significantly less likely to report intense cravings for food.
The results of the study suggest that looking at pictures of food has an effect on food cravings and hunger levels and might be a simple yet effective strategy for people to control their urge to eat. The authors of the study suggest that more research is needed to determine the longer-term impacts of viewing pictures of food on appetite.