Apparently so. Contrary to popular belief, the New Scientist reports that images of unhealthy foods instead of resulting in temptation, actually promote healthy eating. Dr Floor Kroese, a Psychologist at Uterecht University in the Netherlands, found that the weight-conscious women in her study who were shown pictures of chocolate cake were more likely to choose to eat healthy snacks than participants who had been shown a neutral image of a flower.

 “In moderation” says Psychologist Dr Ayelet Fishbach, originally of Tel Aviv University and now at the University of Chicago, “this positive impact of food temptations will overcome the negative impact – the urge to indulge”.

 So perhaps a picture on the fridge door of tempting foods may aid good dieting habits. Kroese warns, however, that whilst highly tempting images can remind people of their eating intentions, weakly attractive images do not have the same impact and may in fact cause the reverse!

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