You know your annoying friend who needs to take like a million photos of their waffles, spend another five minutes applying filters from three different apps, and then post the best of the batch on Instagram with hashtags like #omnomnom and #foodporn before they even take a bite?

They might be on to something.

A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing says that your social media foodie pals, as annoying as they may be, are probably getting more enjoyment out of their meals than you are. That's right – the act of photographing your food before digging in could literally make it taste better.

By causing "a momentary active delay in consumption" (i.e. stopping to appreciate your meal before going hog-wild on that bacon mac and cheese), Instagramming your food allows you to savour the experience, making your food taste even better when you finally get to chow down.

The catch is that under normal conditions, this effect only works for indulgent food – think pulled-pork poutine vs. a kale smoothie.

However, you can increase your pleasure of healthy food by becoming aware of other people who are eating nutritiously. Browse through the avocado toast and smoothie bowls on a few clean eating accounts before posting your own snaps and you'll feel like one of the gang. You might even relish slurping down a frothy glass of green goop.

While science is totally starting to validate obnoxious social media behaviour, there's nothing stopping you from stealthily unfollowing your picture-happy pals because you seriously cannot handle yet another amateur photoshoot of macarons on your feed. Who needs poorly lit shots of pastries interrupting the constant flow of adorable dog pictures that Instagram has to offer?

Let's just hope researchers never find a valid excuse for duckface selfies.