August 31, 2016 10:59
Viewing mouth-watering food images in pictures or video clips can lead to overeating and obesity, according to the Neuroscience Research Institute at Gachon University.
Such images trigger ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, which stimulates the brain's arcuate nucleus that plays an important role in the regulation of appetite and thus increases hunger and desire for food.
"Habits of viewing food photos stimulate and activate the brain's appetite-related regions and can make you feel stressed by a compulsion to eat," said Suh Yoo-hun, president of the institute.
Repeated exposure to appetizing content may even cause anxiety without certain stimuli like in cases of drug or alcohol addictions. That's why such photos of mouth-watering dishes are now jokingly called "foodporn."
"The arcuate nucleus is located close to the brain's reward system area that registers pleasure, so there's risk of becoming addicted if viewing food images repeatedly," said Lee Hae-kook at St. Mary's Hospital in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi Province. "If one finds oneself habitually watching food-related content, he or she should stop right away."
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