Does social media influence what you eat?

The internet and social media are changing the way which we eat. With the tap of a screen, food can be delivered to our doors in a matter of minutes. Scrolling through Instagram reveals perfectly curated meals with healthy hashtags for days.

So, what does healthy eating look like in a world saturated with easy access to food inspiration and food itself?

Nutrition information can now be accessed without relying on textbooks. When we open social media apps, we see perfect examples of healthy eating; endless smoothie bowls, veggie stacks, meal prep and, of course, the perfect bodies that this intense dedication apparently results in. With perfect lighting, angles, filters and arrangement, food certainly doesn’t look much like what the average person tucks in to during a typical weeknight dinner.

Social media sites can confuse our expectations about what healthy eating really looks like.

Along with the perfect pictures of foods, we see the perfect pictures of people. What’s hard to remember is health comes in different shapes and sizes. Even “they” don’t look like their picture all the time. 

Social media advertising also influences the way we eat. Through targeted ad based on browsing history or social media influencers promoting a product which they have been sponsored for, we are being exposed to a vast range of foods and products which may look #instaworthy but may not have a great nutritional content. Make sure you check in the corner for the sponsored notification, or check for #ad or #spon.

While it’s great to be connected to so many more people, a picture-perfect profile may not mean perfection behind the photo. Remember the basics behind healthy eating – eat close to nature, eat a wide variety of different coloured foods and listen to your body for hunger cues.

Food doesn’t need to be a beautiful work of art, it needs to be what works for you.