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The Impact of Social Media on Adolescents’ Food Choices

In this modern age, the importance of having choices cannot be neglected. Having options matters when we wish to purchase an electronic device, consider a religious belief, engage in a relationship with someone, and more. Likewise, when it comes to what we eat, we also want to be provided with options.

When we go to the supermarket or grocery stores to get what to buy, there is often a wide range of options. However, we are free to choose as we like to think. There might be several factors – other than hunger – which might influence the kind of choice we make. 

We might be influencing other people close to us with our choice of diet. Studies have revealed that the stronger the connection that exists between two people, the more the sentiments they might share. This includes the kind of diet they might prefer. When it comes to social media, lots of information is passed, including the food they like. 

This guide will look into the influence of social media on the diets of adolescents. Let’s dive in!

How Social Media Can Influence Your Food Habits

It has been revealed that the pictures of food – especially tasty ones – as well as the visual stimulation they create – can trigger a sudden desire to eat. However, several factors can determine whether they will follow through on those desires. These factors include financial capabilities and the kind of food that is available at that period.

On social media, you could start developing a strong interest in a particular diet if you see your friends – or your favorite celebrity -, post several pictures of the exact type of food. It could be tempting to copy them. It is no news that social media can change our perception of what we consume, changing our relationship with them.

For instance, bodybuilding enthusiasts often imitate every action of their favorite bodybuilder, even when they recommend legal steroids. Their actions are significantly influenced by what their favorite celebrity does. Likewise, the dearest people to you can influence your choices, particularly when it comes to food.

People are more likely to engage with photos of fast food, especially when they contain saturated fats. This is because diets like this often taste good by releasing dopamine, which brings about pleasure. It is natural for humans to seek calorie-rich foods. While healthier foods are often considered by many to be boring, processed foods are considered to be cool.

Social media algorithms tend to support contents that attract the interest of users more. With this in mind, you tend to see posts about food more on your social media feeds as it gathers more views. In recent times, people have made a living off posting about food on social media. 

As food content producers keep gathering attention and engagement on social media, the high level of competition might prompt some to post unhealthy foods. As people get exposed to these poor diets, the perfection of consumers of what kind of food is right tends to become unhealthier. 

Unhealthy content might not influence some people. However, for those with food disorders, getting exposed to unhealthy diets on a daily basis on social media could initiate unhealthier eating behavior. While it has been revealed that social media can influence our choice of food, studies are yet to prove if this can result in changes in our behavior on a routine basis.

Conclusion

We are in the social media era: a period when information can be passed at lightning pace to thousands – or even millions – of people. On social media platforms, you might come across various food content that might trigger a desire to consume that particular food. Social media is a powerful tool. Just as easy as it is to reach out to multitudes at once, your eating habit can be influenced by the kind of food content you engage with on social media.

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