10/20/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Food Blogging: The Newest Eating Disorder?


This picture might give you a mouthgasm...but could it give you an eating disorder, too?

One of the first food-documenting blogs I ever read was For the Love of Oats. I remember thinking, "How on earth does this woman manage to make PB&J on an English muffin look so outrageously delicious? How is it that her pictures make me crave oatmeal, even though I just downed an entire bowl 10 minutes ago?"

Then I stumbled upon and uncovered the world of food porn. Mostly these sites make me feel a) culinarily inadequate and b) hungry. But it doesn't go much farther than that. Then I received this fascinating letter from one amateur food blogger who thought that snapping pics of every morsel to pass her lips might have made her a wee bit compulsive:

"I grew obsessed with [food blogs] over the summer...And then I had this brilliant idea to start one. Worst. Idea. Ever. My entire day became focused on food. What would I eat? What would others (blog readers) think of what I ate? Would others say, 'Well that's why she's overweight' when they read/saw what I ate? There were times when I would actually "hide" what I was eating from my blog. How insane is that?!? I hid my food from the Internet! It was the most obsessive I have ever been about food and I have been pretty obsessive about food at various points in my life..."

She went on to mention that so many food bloggers seem to be extremely thin, often

"detailing every stomach grumble, every Goldfish cracker consumed, every thought about food, every guilty pleasure and putting it all out there for others to comment on... Comments like "I was not hungry but I ate six chocolate chips even though I should not have" scare me!!!!"

Read more about food blogging as the new eating disorder here, at the Weighting Game on iVillage, and see what dozens of other food bloggers have to say about the debate.

And click here to learn more about new research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison showing that people tend to eat healthier when asked to snap a picture of what they ate.

Is food blogging the answer to our nation's obesity problem...or a pathway to obsessive behavior? Or does it just really make you want to eat a cupcake?