Friday, August 28, 2009

Let Them "See" Cake



According to research in the latest journal Appetite, looking at pictures of mouth watering food can actually help improve self-control.

Hmmm.

Let me get this straight. Gazing at the above photo is supposed to satisfy my desire for chocolate cake? I'm not sure that it's working for me. See, all I keep thinking about right now is the Pepperidge Farm cake I keep in the freezer for pop-in company.

The data analysis for this study reveals only 54 subjects were tested, so the generalization for this conclusion may not have sturdy reliability. But I'll give it a try. I wonder if my family will thumbs-up or thumbs-down the scads of pictures of chocolate and juicy cheeseburgers that'll be up.

What about you? Would looking at pictures of your favorite foods help or hurt?


Kroese, F., Evers, C., & De Ridder, D. (2009). How chocolate keeps you slim. The effect of food temptations on weight watching goal importance, intentions, and eating behavior Appetite DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.08.002



29 comments:

Katkinkate said...

I've got a few favourite food blogs I go to for my regular dose of food porn. I'm not sure if this behaviour is increasing my self-control or not though. I'll have to do some tests. I do know that sometimes when I feel like chocolate cake with rich chocolate butter icing or a rich carrot cake with lemony cream cheese icing, I go looking for pictures cause I don't buy that kind of food to bring home. I've only got pictures to look at and I read the recipe and imagine how good it must taste. I've always considered it a type of self-torture.

srose said...

The power of suggestion is STRONG! Seeing pictures like that piece of chocolate cake above would only increase a craving. Frankly,I don't want to see pictures of yummy food because I know that it is not good for me. Isn't the same as commercials where they WANT you to buy their product?

Xmichra said...

A bit of both. I tune out adverts, so it likely doesn't impact the way it should. I mean really, there are thousands of food aadvertisements a day with my favorite foods displayed.

But sometimes when I am in a grocery store and see a huge colorful sign, i do b-line. lol...

CrackerLilo said...

Food images aggravate me when I am hungry, bored, stressed, and/or dieting. If I'm decently fed and secure, they hardly affect me at all, except for perhaps a "Hmmm, I could make that." I do question that theory.

Fortunately for me, I am not very fond of cake. Ice cream, on the other hand...

Angel Chasse said...

Judging by the way my tummy responded to that picture, I think I might not want to plaster the house with food photos... but if it helps someone else, all the best to them :) -- Just not thinking it is my thing :) Very interesting though!

Battle Weary said...

Looking at pictures of my favorite foods makes me hungry!!! Looking at pictures of not favorite foods makes me hungry. Looking at pictures makesme hungry...talking about looking at pictures makes me hungry. Maybe I'm just hungry! :P Off to the Wolf Den for lunch (I'm on campus today)!

kenju said...

Seeing that cake definitely made me want some!!

lois said...

oh...pepperidge farm chocolate layer cake...man i haven't had that in years...maybe decades....do they still make that? i udes to love that stuff...and their apple dumplings and turnovers...used to get them at their thrift shops...ah the memories...the picture didn't do much for my appetite but it did bring back some memories...i might just have to check the frozen food section to see if they carry them. thanks for the flashback! you done good...serioulsy....

PTC said...

I think it would just make me want to eat them. Well, I know that's the case b/c when I watch cooking shows it makes me hungry and want to eat. Seeing pics of foods in magazines and cook books also make me want them, but that could also have something to do with the fact that I deprive myself a bit.

Lisa Marie said...

It all depends on how hungry I am when looking.

Mmm. Cake.

sandy,phd said...

I've long thought it hurts. Good example. I was given a subscription to a food and recipe magazine. I saw a picture of Baqlawa. Read the recipe. OMG, it looked so good. I thought about it for weeks, maybe months. Bought some phyllo dough and made some. It was so rich, a little too rich, but delicious. And so so fattening, I found, once the layering of the butter and honey and brown sugar was underway. It was a recipe for a binge and I took full advantage.

Ok, now I've just made myself hunger for it again. See what I mean?

But I'd sure like to believe it is true.

Carie said...

I am a visual person lol so when I see food it makes me want it lol see cause now I want cake

Dr. Deb said...

Hey all,

My chocolate consumption has increased exponentially since I've posted this picture and left a few photos around the house. So....this doesn't work for me! Maybe I should post pics of carrot sticks and salads.

The power of suggestion IS strong.

alan said...

Pavlov's dog...that photo works exactly the same way for me...

To the point I can taste and smell chocolate while looking at it!

I think "Appetite" is a little out of their realm here!

alan

lois said...

okay...posting carrot sticks and celery just doesn't have the same appeal...i mean lets face it...does that make you want to run right out and just rip produce out of someone's hand and stuff your face????

mot me.

looking at pix of a great salad may get me interested but nuttin' like a slab o' cake! (or a good burger, pizza, ice cream etc).

okay....i admit.

HI! MY NAME IS LOIS AND I'M VEGETABLE CHALLENGED.


go on...say it all together...."HI LOIS"

Wanda's Wings said...

I want it.

Ms.L said...

Ha,for me,it hurts! I drool and then quickly add the items needed to make whatever I'm craving to my
grocery list and that's the end of that. Perhaps I should copy katkinkate and go looking for photos of the food I'm craving intead of letting the food photos
dictate,lol

Wendy C. said...

Looking at that picture actually made me feel kind of guilty, over fed and badly in need of more exercise.

Ethereal Highway said...

It's possible that I'm just plain weird, but I have looked at this post three times and each time it made me crave hummus on whole wheat pita bread. Luckily, I keep those fixings on hand. :-) Though I like an occassional piece of chocolate after a meal, I tend toward hypoglycemia, so a picture of cake makes me think of low blood sugar. And plaque on my teeth. Yuck.

-- Lynn from Spilling Ink

OHN said...

Thanks to you, Pepperidge farm will see a huge boost in their sales this week :)

When I see photos of foods I love, it does me in. Seriously I can crave it for days and days until I give in. Sure makes those last 20 lbs hard to lose!

mrwriteon said...

I tend to disagree. That cake looked very inviting. It also flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that suggests if you don't show people smoking in movies or on TV viewers will be less inclined to crave a cigarette. I think that is true.

jumpinginpuddles said...

ohhh we dont like cake but ummm a glass of champas with some pate and some cheese and some sundried tomatoes and smoked salmon and prawns and a poicture of the beach im sure we would be almost drooling to get to them LOL

Grumpy Old Man said...

An awful lot of food cosmeticians (Yes, Viriginia, they exist!) are peddling a line of tripe if looking at gastroporn ruined the appetite.

Are men watching porn on the Internet and neglecting their wives and sweethearts? Could be, I suppose.

STAG said...

food porn. scantily clad cup cakes, fish in real fish nets.... ice cream dripping in suggestive ways off the tip of a sugar cone...

Yummmmmmmm

I think a cold shower is in order....

Midwife with a Knife said...

Hmm... It's interesting because watching the food network makes me want to eat. So I do sort of wonder where the line gets crossed between just enough to let you imagine the satisfaction and be satisfied with that, and the line into food porn that just leaves you wanting more.

Mark said...

Interesting. Most people are visual and I would believe that a picture of food would spike the desire rather than satisfy or diminish the desire.

Rose said...

They don't do anything for me.

http://lifewithpsycho.blogspot.com said...

Nope. Makes me want to eat it.

Anonymous said...

Seeing pictures of foods such as that cake, would cause me to binge eat. I would have no control and it would be an awful experience for me. The aftermath is no longer purging, just self loathing which is just as bad.