#Foodie, #foodporn, #foodgasm are just a few of the most popular hashtags for food Instagram posts across the world. These hashtags alone occupy over 210 million pictures (and counting). So why is it that our generation is so obsessed with sharing every meal we eat by Instagramming it?

Foodies everywhere go to drastic measures in order to get that money shot — from wandering around to find the perfect lighting, to standing on chairs to get the overhead shot. You may wonder why people do the things they do all for a picture. Well, a new study shows that those foodies might just be on to something.

pizza, beer
Jamie Carroll

Scientists from St. Joseph's University and University of San Diego wanted to know if Instagramming your food makes it taste better. In order to test this idea, researchers looked at a group of over 120 participants, split up into different conditions. Specifically, participants were assigned to one of four conditions: two groups took pictures before consuming either a healthy food (fruit salad) or an indulgent food (red velvet cake), while the other groups ate either the healthy or indulgent food immediately, with no pictures taken.

Elizabeth McDermott

The results of this study found that those whom took part in photographing the indulgent food (red velvet cake) perceived their food to be more satisfying than those who did not take pictures. With regards to the healthy food (fruit salad), no statistical difference was found between the two groups. This is likely due to the fact that there is less exciting anticipation in eating a bowl of cut fruit rather than a decadent cake. 

Basically, this study can be described as a photograph and delay process. The more you delay a seemingly delicious food, the more your mind anticipates its deliciousness, and the more you crave that food. 

Think about your process of food-gramming: the waiter brings your plate, you pull out your phone, open up the camera, spend 5+ minutes getting the perfect angle and lighting, select your favorite picture, put it through your favorite photo editor (VSCO is life), and FINALLY, it makes it to the gram—where you likely deliberate for way too long what you should caption it.

Do the math and you've just spent way too long staring and analyzing that plate of food—not to mention how distracted you'll be while you monitor how many likes you get.

It may not be rocket science, but it's human nature to want what we can't have. By instagramming that plate of nachos, you're teasing your mind so much that it begins to crave that food even more. So, take it as you will, but I'm going to keep 'gramming every meal, because science says I should.