Social media feeds have millions of posts about health and fitness. The social media influencers are consistently blogging about new restaurants, fitness regimes, and dieting tips.
But many of these tips are not backed by science. They do more harm than good because they’re promoting unhealthy foods and drinks and suggesting various types of diets that are not credible.
Health and fitness community on Instagram promotes an active lifestyle and ideal body standards through online self-presentations. But they are responsible for spreading false information to their followers as most of their advice isn’t credible.
Inaccuracy of Social Media Health Advice
About 90% of social media influencers share inaccurate health and fitness information. Furthermore, most of these influencers present their opinion as potentially harmful facts.
People looking to lose weight should stay away from social media because many influencers publish diets without significant outcomes.
According to a study by the University of Glasgow, one of nine social media bloggers makes false weight management claims that are inaccurate and untrustworthy.
In addition, the most popular influencers with more than 80,000 followers on social media sites had weight management blogs with inaccurate information. These blogs are not credible sources for weight management and health-related information.
Such blogs present opinions as facts. These opinions fail to meet nutritional criteria backed by science.
Such blogs influence a majority of the audience. Therefore, they promote false information without credibility that harms people’s health and lifestyle.
Why Is Health Content From Social Media Influencers Bad?
Are you frustrated by social media bloggers’ poor health and fitness advice? Unfortunately, most popular health advice on social media sites is wrong.
A healthreporter.com website states most information regarding health, fitness, skin, and sleep isn’t reliable. Yet the influencers promote their ideas by using catchy captions, attractive pictures, and false fitness regimes.
The majority of the blogs are not considered credible. Most do not meet the UK’s nutritional criteria or provide scientific evidence for their health claims.
Social Media Health and Fitness Community
The growth of the social media health and fitness community has quickly accelerated over the past few years, all thanks to influencers. But this growth harms the audience that considers social media influencers’ advice a holy grail.
Many people sign up for new workout programs or follow unqualified advice to end up injured. Unfortunately, not everything works for everyone.
Every individual has different nutritional needs.
Likewise, they require different fitness plans. But social media attracts them to follow specific restrictive diets and workout plans that make them physically weak, leaving them with no energy.
Therefore, the online health and fitness community is promoting the idea of false wisdom by making claims about things that do not promote a healthy lifestyle.
The audience must ensure the credibility of claims before following the advice because many people who pretend to be the holy grail of health and fitness on social media have done nothing to back up their claims.
Dangers of Following Social Media Health Advice
Poor health advice from people considered the epitome of health is quite dangerous. For example, one health influencer claimed they ate 70 grams of carbohydrates daily.
But according to research, active people need to consume about 3 to 12 grams of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. This is more than the average 70 grams of carbohydrate intake suggested by the social media influencer.
Following such advice will not help you tone your body if you stay active and practice strength training.
Similarly, some influencers suggest that you need to take certain supplements to make the most of your workout. But most of the time, influencers promote supplements that do not work for everybody.
Moreover, many people scroll through social media posts by fitness and health influencers and follow their advice to tone their bodies. But unfortunately, when they do not get a positive outcome, this significantly affects their mental health and self-esteem.
According to a health psychologist, Dr. Sula Windgassen, people follow the advice because of the social comparison and the increasing societal pressure of fitting the beauty standards presented by social media.
Our society promotes health with aesthetics. Therefore, people believe that a healthy person looks a certain way. It negatively impacts people’s self-esteem.
Even if social media advice is well intended, it leads to people creating comparisons that deteriorate their mental health as they set certain expectations. When they fail to meet their expectations, it creates negative emotions.
Find Credible Sources for Health Advice
But how do you find out that the tips you follow are dangerous? While this isn’t an easy process, you can always take some steps to know if you’re on the right track.
If you’re dissatisfied with the way you eat or exercise, you can make changes to fix that. But considering health care professionals and fitness experts should be your number one priority.
Instead of going to social media influencers to look for answers, you need to read articles from credible sources and consult professional healthcare experts. But unfortunately, people are drawn too quickly to digestible and simple advice.
But health and fitness advice does not always come in black and white. Accurate health advice is less enticing and follows professional ethics and standards.
Before you believe anything posted by internet influencers, you must check if the person you’re following has a certain level of expertise in the field to back their claims.