Does Reading About Food Make You Fat?

Back on Chowhound, I long desired to start a thread on this topic; and, fancying myself as being a bit of a rabble-rouser, I decided I’d title it, “Does Chowhound Make You Fat?” (I’m still a little sad I didn’t.)

Thread titles notwithstanding, do you find reading about food makes you hungry? I’ve learned that I can’t read Hungry Onion, or FTC, or Lucky Peach, or even Serious Eats, unless I have something edible close at hand. (Preferably something healthy, because it’s pretty much non-aware eating.)

It doesn’t matter the specific topic; so long as it involves food - preparation, menu, presentation, whatever - chances are fairly good it’s going to get my salivary glands working overtime and my stomach soon rumbling. I find myself wandering to the kitchen and grabbing whatever I think will quickly sate that gnawing Pavlovian response. (Hence the need to make sure I have healthy options, else I’m going for the junk food!)

Interestingly, I find myself more drawn to written descriptions of the food than I am the photos, though I can appreciate photos for their artistic quality and how they portray the dish.

And you?

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Reading about food doesn’t make me hungry anymore, because I spend so much time reading about food. Instead, I might get an idea for what I want to eat later and start planning that out. But I’m pretty attuned to when my stomach (as opposed to my brain) would like some food, and I don’t snack. I also don’t nap - possibly these two things are related.

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At first, I think yes, and then I think no. I read a lot cool things about food prep or food history, and they do make me long for these wonderful, but almost all for them take time, effort to make. As such, when I do make them, I actually spend more time and more energy than otherwise.

Now, I think being “tired” from work can make me fat. I would come home too tired to cook, so I would just grab anything read-to-eat, including snacks and candies. Like now, I got home at 7:30 PM. Too tired and late to start cooking, so I ate some chocolate and now salsa with chips.


It does for me. It’s my entertainment, so I love to sneak away with a snack and read about food, whether a cookbook or online. Same as you, I’m always trying keep healthy options around.


At first, I thought “No, not really.” But then I realized it depends on the subject matter. If it’s about something I love, I might get a craving for it and if I can’t have it immediately, I’ll go searching for something else to eat. But I rarely go for something healthy - I just find the easiest (chips and dip, pita and hummus, spreadable cheese and crackers, a handful of nuts and chocolate trail mix, etc.)

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Yes & No.

No, not in the manner you describe. Reading about food or being on this (or other) sites do not make me hungry nor do I need to have a snack handy while I read.

Yes in the fact that this certainly does influence what I eat, and once my appetite get’s wet by something, I’m sure to over indulge. Also the fact people like @corvette_johnny challenge me to eat platters of food meant for 2 or 3 people certainly doesn’t help either.

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It depends.

Not really if there’s no action after the reading, which is most of the time for me. Of course reading recipes will lead to the desire to cook, but cooking can be quite physical, I don’t seem to get a lot of appetite after the work, though I see the effect on husband waits for the meal to arrive. Of course, it depends if you are making sweet or savoury food…

But on trip preparation, reading lots on food of a certain culture or restaurants, will lead to wanting to try more stuff. Yes, usually after trip, I can get fatter. But usually the walking and the sweating offsets, I don’t see much gain in weight in the last trips.

I think it depends on the metabolism of each person. I don’t snack while reading.

I say yes but it could be a simple salad photo or a 4 page recipe depending on my mood that inspires eating.

“Does Reading About Food Make you Fat”

No, my mouth and lack of will power makes me fat. (washed down with copious amounts of vodka)

Sure makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook something after reading food posts. Need to start getting a subscription of Runners World to balance it out. Although Walkers World would be more my speed

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