Do your social media friends post pictures of smoothies and salads or French fries and donuts? Think of it as “word of mouth” for food. All rights reserved. The pro: Social media can provide health inspiration After all, you can hardly scroll through Pinterest without passing by a gorgeous salad or must-try smoothie. ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. But they also helped themselves to an extra portion of unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks for every three portions they believed their online friends had. Now, a recent study reveals how much impact social media has on a child’s food choices. Moreover, we are even sensitive to the behavior of other people when we are out shopping for food, they can be complete strangers and not have any interaction with us, we will still be influenced by their physical presence, at least when it comes to picking out food from a shop. A research team turned to Facebook users to discover how social media influences eating habits. The opposite was also true. Certain influencers have even made an entire career out of utilising this craze for food on their feeds. Read more: Fat-Burning Foods in Pictures: Blueberries, Green Tea, and More, According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.”, Cocoa Might Give Your Brain a Boost: Study, Junk Food, Booze Often Star in America's Hit Movie, Turkey Day: Strategies for a Healthy Feast, Is Honey Healthy? A majority of them will be connected with food and the food industry as a whole. That depends on many factors including any health conditions you may have and your weight. Posting about food on social media can inspire smarter food choices. Our dietary choices also tend to converge with those of our close social connections. Sign Up for MedicineNet Newsletters. cooking) and time 4. home/health & living center/ nutrition, food & recipes a-z list/ how social media influences your food choices article. “The food-related posts on social media are helping people to try and cook and eat healthier. This sequence was designed for teachers to create a rich understanding within their students of the key knowledge associated with the topic ‘ the role of media in shaping food information and food choice, including the influence of marketing and advertising, news reportage, popular culture and social media’. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. In fact, the choices that we make with regards to our food are also influenced by these very same instruments of the media. But still, the question remains. You're more likely to eat the way your social media friends do, according to a study conducted by researchers at Aston University's School of Life and Health Sciences in the UK. "We seem to be subconsciously accounting for how others behave when making our own food choices." SOURCE: Aston University, news release, Feb. 6, 2020, By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Some of the other factors that influence food choice include: 1. Through advertising, we see several messages on a daily basis. The takeaway is that the eating behavior of social network groups may influence our own, so choose your contacts wisely. They asked nearly 400 college students to estimate how much fruit, veggies, snacks and sugary drinks their Facebook friends ate each day. how social media can affect food choices, eating habits For the study, researchers asked 369 college students to estimate the amount of fruits, vegetables, energy-dense snacks (potato chips, cookies, etc. To answer that question, we must first understand the concept of social influence. One reason for this is that conforming to the behaviour of others is adaptive and we find it rewarding. The diet sets limits around cheese, yogurt, eggs, red meat, and sweets. Grapefruit, hot peppers, vinegar, and more appear on WebMD's list of fat-fighting foods -- along with surprising facts about how they may work. Personal, social and economic factors that affect food choice Personal factors Likes and dislikes – consumers tend to buy products that they like and avoid those that they don't. Posted on: February 12, 2020 Source: MedicineNet You’re more likely to eat the way your social media friends do, according to a study conducted by researchers at Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in the UK. However, many health professionals advocate the Mediterranean diet to promote health and longevity. When researchers examined the data they found that study participants were more likely to eat significantly more junk food when they perceived their social media contacts approved of eating junk food. "The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet range from a lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and stroke; lower blood pressure and LDL levels; improved brain function, eye health, and fertility; healthy body weight; and increased life span," she said. Social media may have a strong influence on a person’s relationship with food and fear of gaining weight. The answer could affect your food choices. You need to be in that News Feed (or Twitter Stream, or Instagram Feed…). Students also reported their BMIs. However, researchers noted perceived social norms did not significantly predict BMI. The type of lifestyle, job and education, size of the family and the importance of hospitality within the social group are also important when we make food choices. In the study, college students were asked to note their perceptions of their social media contacts' consumption of fruit, vegetables, sugar-sweetened beverages, and energy-dense snacks as well as their own consumption of these foods. Marketing can have a significant impact on the food choices that we make as consumers. Social determinants such as culture, family, peers and meal patterns 5. We eat differently when we are with other people compared with when we eat alone. Even when eating alone, food choice is influenced by social factors because attitudes and habits develop through the interaction with others1. 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