You can't get away from cooking programmes on TV. Simply flicking through TV channels, it won't take long before you come across a celebrity chef cooking a mouth-watering meal.

But according to scientists, reported in the press this week, our growing obsession with food presentation is making our waistlines grow. A study has found that the trend for making food look beautiful - nicknamed 'food porn'- in cooking programmes and in supermarket adverts is fuelling the UK's obesity crisis. The Oxford University researchers warned that 'regular exposure to virtual foods nowadays' is 'triggering hunger more often than is perhaps good for us.' The lead author of the Oxford's department of  experimental psychology has been reported as saying, 'Specifically, we question the impact that our increasing exposure to images of desirable food might be having, and ask whether it might not be inadvertently or exacerbating our desire for food - what we call ''visual hunger''.'

The study published in the journal Brain and Cognition, added that the rise of cookery programmes on TV has led to food becoming glamorised 'without necessarily telling a balanced story when it comes to the societal, health and environmental consequences of excess consumption'.

Beware then - don't look too closely at these pictures or you'll put on 2lbs!                


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