Ten Seconds Can Last Longer: Prevalence, Impact, and User Perceptions of Food Cues on Snapchat Journal Article uri icon



  • Obesity is a global health crisis projected to affect one billion people worldwide by 2030. Previous research has emphasized the role of food cues in print media and television as contributing factors to the obesity epidemic. However, the influence of food cues shared by general users on social media platforms, particularly Snapchat, remains largely unexplored. To this end, this paper presents a comprehensive, large-scale study employing a multi-method approach to assess, measure, and mitigate the influence of food cues shared on Snapchat in three different countries with diverse cultural backgrounds: Saudi Arabia, the United States, and France. Our analysis of over 350K collected snaps reveals that food cues are prevalent among Snapchat users, with food content comprising approximately 20% of all collected snaps. Subsequently, we assessed the impact of exposure to Snapchat food content on appetite and examined whether it might inadvertently exacerbate cravings. Our experimental study, involving 37 participants, yields a significant finding: exposure to food snaps leads to a substantial increase in caloric intake. In light of these findings and as an effort to mitigate this impact, this paper sheds light on Snapchat users' perceptions of a proposed intervention design idea, which would allow them to customize their feed and hide food content to potentially reduce their exposure to it. According to our survey of 813 Snapchat users, the majority (57%) indicated they would be willing to hide food-related content from their feeds. In particular, being male and having a high body mass index (BMI) were both associated with a higher willingness to block food content from their Snapchat feed. While food snaps are intended to disappear after 24 hours, our results suggest that their impact can have a long-lasting effect on health and wellness.

publication date

  • April 17, 2024

has restriction

  • hybrid

Date in CU Experts

  • May 1, 2024 1:09 AM

Full Author List

  • Kurdi M; Albadi N; Mishra S

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2573-0142

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 29


  • 8


  • CSCW1