If you’re anything like me and follow various food accounts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, your Internet feed often includes amazing pictures and videos of food and dessert. You might find something similar to this beautiful, deep cookie skillet on your Instagram feed.

Although scrolling through pictures and videos of food might seem fun and harmless, it turns out that seeing images of food can make you hungry.

A recent study questions the impact of our exposure to food porn and whether or not it increases our desire for food. The review defines visual hunger as "a natural desire, or urge, to look at food” and claims it could be an evolutionary adaptation. 

A photo posted by Foodporn (@foodpornweb) on

The study says that our brains learned to enjoy seeing food because we would likely end up consuming what we saw. Thus, physiological responses prepared our bodies for the food.

Nowadays, regular exposure to virtual foods and “the array of neural, physiological, and behavioural responses linked to it, might be exacerbating our physiological hunger way too often.” In short, seeing pictures of food on every type of social media we have is intensifying our physiological hunger, which causes us to eat more.

Another article on Science Daily summarizes a study that was done on healthy, young men that reiterates the same findings. The study found that the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone gherkin—which controls eating behavior and the physical process of food metabolism—in the blood increases because of visual stimulation through food pictures.

Unfortunately, seeing delicious pictures and videos of our food fantasies is definitely harming us. This is not good news for me, for you, or for anyone who follows the same amount of food accounts that I do.

Does this information make us question whether we should continue to follow these accounts? Yes. Can I quit watching Tasty videos on Facebook? Probably not.