Social media often tears the nation in half, on the one hand it can be a perfect tool for small businesses to get themselves out there yet on the other hand it can be a scary place for seeking approval, body comparisons and internet trolling. Really we believe it’s how you use social media which can manage the effect it has on you.
When it comes to the world of food and the health industry social media, more specifically Instagram has played an enormous role in the rise of the nations’ awareness of their diet and their health. In this article, we’re highlighting both the pros and the cons of social media and how it can influence our appetite.
Let’s start with the benefits and why we love it so much.
- It can encourage experimentation with different foods. We’re more likely to try out a new ingredient if we’ve seen someone else use it and show us how to incorporate it into our diet. As a result, this can make healthy eating more enjoyable as we’re constantly exposed to new and innovative ideas.
- Social media makes nutrition education more accessible. Before social media we would either have to actively seek out education around food which can be expensive, time consuming or both. However, in today’s world of social media we can be constantly exposed to tips and tricks to support our learning around nutrition and food.
- Active engagement through Instagram and other social media platforms allows the user to interact with the creator, to ask questions and to learn more. This is a unique and fantastic benefit which social media offers us and one which we simply cannot achieve through reading a book or even scrolling the internet.
- Regular motivation, if you’re following people which keep you interested and excited about nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle it’s an easy and convenient place to seek that boost of external motivation which can encourage you to make healthier choices on the tougher days.
Much like everything there is always two sides of every story and with the good comes the negatives too. However, being aware of these negatives can help us to see past them and fine tune our social media consumption effectively.
- Social media can allow for the rise of fad dieting. With so many ‘aspirational figures’ on social media, there can be a temptation to follow a certain restrictive diet in an effort to look like someone else or achieve the figure seen in an ultra air-brushed and edited picture. It’s important to remember to take other people’s world with a pinch of salt as we may not always see the full story.
- Portion distortion. On the flip side of those following restrictive diets, the images of food on social media can sometimes be created in order to obtain an aesthetically pleasing plate of food. However, do note, that portion sizes can often be significantly large on social media and therefore rather than copying someone else’s plate always eat to your appetite.
Ultimately if social media or the accounts you follow are heavily influencing your appetite or your relationship towards food in a negative way then it’s in your control to remove these accounts or shut off for a short time until you feel ready to consume this content again.