UW Study Reveals How Instagram Food Photos Help Users Stick to Healthy Eating [Video]


It has been a popular practice of social media users, especially Instagram users to post the photos of the food they eat. Whether it is something fancy or even a simple home-cooked meal, people have gotten used to the habit of sharing pictures of their meals on this app. And a new study just found that this practice actually helps users track their eating behaviors and feel accountable to stick to healthy eating because of their followers.

A study conducted by the researchers from the University of Washington reveals that posting food photos on Instagram can actually be a creative way to monitor a user's eating habits and be held accountable by followers who are also into losing weight or healthy eating, Science Daily reported.

According to GeekWire, it was Wednesday when UW said that a paper containing all the details and results of the study will be released and presented next month at the CHI 2017 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The goal is to make use of these findings to encourage people to adapt to healthier behaviors with the help of tools such as Instagram.

Christina Chung, lead author and a UW human centered design and engineering doctoral student, said that the good thing about taking and looking at photos is that it is easier and more fun to see compared to referring to a booklet that is only full of text. She also added that it is socially acceptable to take snaps of their food while keeping a tab on their diets even when they are out with their friends; it won't look weird or embarrassing because everybody's been doing it.

Senior author Sean Munson, assistant professor of human centered design and engineering at the UW, also said that while it is difficult to maintain a healthy diet, using Instagram for taking photos of healthy food options is an interesting way for people to stick to their goal also because of the fact that they are accountable to people who also depend on them for support.

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