How Seeing Food Makes You Hungry

Have you ever flipped through a magazine, and seen a photo of food and thought: “Wow, I’m hungry?” Does taking online culinary courses cause your stomach to growl? Don’t be surprised. According to a study done by the Max Planck Society – a research organization out of Germany – seeing images of food naturally makes you hungry.

How it works
The hormone ghrelin is released in greater amounts when you take in visual stimuli. Ghrelin is produced in the stomach and is responsible for creating appetite by acting on a region in your brain known for controlling the amount of food you eat. When you see a photo of delicious food, ghrelin is rapidly released into the bloodstream, causing a spike in your appetite.

This hormone is great in the wild. Humans’ early ancestors were hunter-gatherers, meaning they hunted animals and picked food as they roamed the earth. They could go days without finding food. When they did find it, they ate as much as they could, knowing they might not find another food source for a long time. Ghrelin helped increase their appetite when they something edible, and is the reason humans survived.

Humans can get food easily now. Rather than gathering from bushes and tracking animals for dinner, humans pick food up at the grocery store and hunt for bargains. Ghrelin still functions the same, however. Researchers link this hormone to obesity problems because it creates hunger when the person doesn’t actually need to eat.

How advertising uses ghrelin
​Social media is key for contemporary marketing strategies. According to the National Archive and Records Addministration, Facebook recieved 2,731,677 views in Semptember of 2013 alone. Many users post photos of the food they make or eat. Take Thanksgiving, for example. Did you log into Facebook just to see photos of the food your friends were eating? Were you surprised to see it? According to NBC, Neil Patrick Harris posts photos from his favorite restaurants on his Twitter page. He has approximately 80,000 followers. Those 80,000 people now know about NPH’s favorite dining destinations.

You probably become hungry as you look at food photos on social media, thanks to the hormone ghrelin. You can take advantage of social media advertising and this hunger hormone to get your friends and followers excited about your food. Other advertisers are doing it too. With Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more, you have access to a whole world of photo sharing. Use these tools to promote your craft while you earn your online culinary arts certificate.

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