Food Porn in Social Media: The Influence of Digital Photography on Healthy Eating Behaviour

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- Obesity continues to be a global issue. In recent years, researchers have started to question the role of our novel yet ubiquitous use of digital media, especially the bombardment of appetising food images, in the development of obesity. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak affecting almost all aspects of society, many people have moved social eating into the digital space, making the question as relevant as ever. Food photography in particular has become a major aspect of the digital food experience. This review provides a scientific overview of how the 1) consumption, 2) production, and 3) online sharing of digital food photography influence the consumer both in terms of neural processing and eating behaviour. Moreover, this review provides an outlook of the opportunities in future research, both to close the gaps in our scientific understanding of the interaction between digital food photography and actual eating behaviour, and, from a practical viewpoint, to optimise our digital food media habits to support an obesity-preventive lifestyle. Rather than putting the blame on “food porn”, we offer the view that active participation in food photography, in conjunction with a selective usage of food-related digital media, can not only contribute to the management of a healthy bodyweight, but also enhance the enjoyment of food.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
ISSN1664-1078
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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