Is Facebook Making You Fat?

Wow, this piece of research sneaked out relatively quietly last week. It’s an intriguing study that found that if whatever you’re doing on Facebook makes you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to reach for an unhealthy snack afterwards.

This is kind of surprising – after all you’d kind of expect to be reaching for the chocolately treats if you went on there and saw pictures of your ex with a pneumatic blonde in a bikini – or, even that your ex had turned into a pneumatic blonde in a bikini – but nibbling if you feel good after surfing? Why might that happen?

Well, it seems, according to the paper (which you’ll find if you click here), that it occurs if close friends like something you’re doing. This means you’re doing something right in life – and this triggers a little burst of self esteem in your head. Now, the problem here is that our body is very reward focused – a little self esteem boost makes us feel we’ve done good, and in brain terms this means we’re now allowed to do something we deem as bad in return without any guilt – YIPPEEEEE. As such we lose some of our willpower and self control and indulge. Now this could be in any way: we could carry on with the vicar, dance naked in the front window – but, for most people it means something nice, quick, easy – and that won’t get you arrested – ie reaching for a sweet treat or glass of wine.

Now no-one’s saying don’t go on Facebook – heavens to Betsy, I wouldn’t have a clue what was going on with most of my friends without it as they all live thousands of kilometres away – but just be aware of any feelings it might throw up. After all, if you know why you’re nibbling, it’s a lot easier not to do it.


Image: this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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