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Posting food photos online may lead to weight problems, expert warns

Food photos rank right up there with baby snapshots and cat memes when it comes to the most common images people share online.

But according to the CBC, if you're posting pictures of almost everything you eat, you may have a health problem.

The CBC reported Valerie Taylor, the mental-health chair of the Canadian Obesity Network, warned that posting of food photos may reflect the extent to which some individuals regard the role of food in their lives.

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"You don't take pictures of who you're with, you take pictures of what you're eating," she said during a presentation last week. "For some people who have the predisposition for weight behaviours, it just goes that one step further, and they start to develop unhealthy weight disorders and they start to have weight problems."

But as some commenters have since pointed out, the problems with taking food photos go beyond the health pitfalls of food fixation; the habit can be a social pain, too.

A commenter with the username grantdude joked on CBC's site: "The condition is called 'I'm annoying and I don't know it.' "

Lately, some restaurants have gone so far as to prohibit their customers from taking snapshots of their food, chiefly because it can be distracting and can take away from the dining experience. Plus, as Esquire's Eat Like a Man blog notes, diners' amateur photos are generally not very good anyway, which probably does a disservice to the kitchen.

(The Hot Button reported last fall, however, that a New York restaurant decided to take advantage of the practice, encouraging patrons' food photography as a way of promoting its menus.)

Do your own social-media posts reflect an unhealthy preoccupation with food?

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About the Author

Wency Leung is a general assignment reporter for the Life section. Before joining The Globe in early 2010, she has worked as a reporter in Vancouver, Prague, and Phnom Penh. More


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