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Apr 27, 2017 11:03 AM EDT

A new research from the University of Washington explains how people rely on posting photos on Instagram to track their food intake. Also, they become accountable to their followers' weight loss goals.

The complete study will be presented at the CHI 2017 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems next month. In it, the experts have conducted in-depth interviews with 16 respondents who "consistently" record and share what they eat on Instagram. The questions were about the benefits and challenges of using the online app to achieve their eating habits and fitness goals.

Interestingly, per Science Daily, instead of using traditional food journals that require people to write down everything they eat, they just snap photos of what they ate for the day. They will later share the pictures on the social media site using the hashtag #fooddiary or #foodjournal. Some also use the app to remember what to log in their food journals later in the day.

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Christina Chug, a human centered design and engineering doctoral student at the University of Washington, earlier said in statements that one of the benefits of posting photos online is that it is more fun to do than writing notes in a booklet. Chung, for the record, is the lead author of the study.

Working like a daily diary, IG users can easily spot trouble if ever something wrong occurs in their diet plans. Moreover, the respondents admitted that "social and emotional" support from online friends help them stay on track towards their fitness goals. Regular postings then result to the responsibility to upload every day for the followers. Thus, anyone will feel obliged to track their eating routines on a daily basis.

Lastly, Geek Wire also reported that Chung acknowledges the fact that IG users can create separate feeds under the same profile, According to her, it was encouraging because people do not have to worry about overwhelming their followers with food pictures. Additionally, this feature allows them to channel content toward a particular group of audience.

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