Digital Dieting: How is Social Media Affecting the Way You Eat?

friends eating at a restaurant

Social media is now an integral part of modern society. According to one study, the average U.S. citizen spends over two hours of each day exploring their social media networks. But social media isn’t as innocuous or innocent as it seems.

Because you’re spending so much time on your feed, there’s no wonder that it could be affecting your behavior. Aside from keeping you updated on the latest trends, social media could also be affecting your wellness. How?

A recent study discovered that social media networks could slowly change the way you eat.

Peer Influence and Healthy Behavior

The research was undertaken by members of the School of Life and Health Sciences, a department of Aston University. By studying the eating habits of people of social media, they discovered that people are more like to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables if they see their friends on social media doing the same.

The researched surveyed over 360 students to estimate how much produce their friends ate, based solely on their social media posts. Those that claimed their friends ate healthier also said they ate more healthy food.

If people see that their friends on social media ate unhealthy fare, such as junk food and approved of this behavior, their consumption of these food products also increases.

 Social media networks don’t just show you that your friends are eating healthier, they can also keep you updated on the latest food trends.

New Information and Healthy Trends

bowls of salad

In an age when there is even social media management for accountants, it’s not surprising for food bloggers and cooks to have massive online presence. Thanks to influencers and the speed at which information travels, more people become aware of the latest trends on healthy eating. 

For example, take a look at the recent rise of veganism among young people. Studies found that more and more millennials in the United States are shifting to plant-based diets. In 2017 alone, a study discovered that six percent of Americans were vegan, a huge leap which meant that the vegan population increased by 600 percent over three years. The fact that almost 88 percent of millennials are active on social media isn’t a mere coincidence.

Social media networks keep people informed. If they’re interested in going vegan, they can find influencers, groups, and pages on social media who can point them to the right direction. These groups also often share recipes, keep each other updated, and generally encourage healthy eating behavior.

If you’re curious about the effects of eating healthy or changing diets for your friend, you can simply visit their social media accounts and see what they’re posting.

Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle or you’re already set in your ways. But thanks to social media networks, its easier than ever to find the motivation and the information you need to start your journey to a healthier lifestyle. The next time you log in to your favorite social media platform, spare a few minutes to check out the latest health trends and you may just get a whole new lease on life.

The Author

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