Fredericton – Researchers at UNB Fredericton made a shocking discovery this weekend while wrapping up a study on caloric and nutritional value in common foods consumed on campus.
The study, dubbed “Eat This, Not That,” had originally set out to explain the “freshman 15” phenomenon commonly experienced in a university setting, but ended up uncovering more drastic results.
“What happened was, we started taking pictures of the meals most students eat on a day-to-day basis — you know, to figure out why students gain around 15 pounds their first year of school — and some of our researchers couldn’t resist sharing the most fattening and delicious-looking ones on social media,” explained Dr. Heather Stern, a nutrition specialist and head of the faculty of biology.
“Before long, we noticed that the researchers who were documenting, sharing, and then eating the food were gaining weight at an alarming rate, while those who just ate their food like normal people didn’t put on an extra pound,” she explained. “We’ve never seen anything like it. Even more surprising is that some of our researchers just threw the food out after sharing it on Instagram and the like, and they still gained more weight than those who simply ate their meals without narcissistically posting it for their friends and relatives to see.”
Students regularly flood Instagram and Facebook with their amateur photos of late-night eats from Jack’s and greasy breakfasts from Coffee Mill. Jimmy Harrison, 21, says he’s been posting pics of everything he eats for around two years now, and has been seeing the weight pile on.
“When I started university a couple years ago, I was pretty fit,” he explained while sharing his day-old sushi on Snapchat. “I honestly don’t think I’m eating any more than I did in high school, but I did get this new Nexus 5, and it takes awesome photos that my friends at home really need to see,” he went on, oblivious to the obvious fact that no one — including his out-of-town friends — wants to see shitty photos of his food.
“I’m from Cape Breton,” he went on, setting up a tripod in the cafeteria to help him perfectly capture the croutons in his soggy Caesar salad. “They have no idea what they’re missing at home.”
The “Eat This, Not That” study is set to be published in the prestigious Journal of Health and Social Media early 2015.