The growing popularity of free advise on nutrition and weight loss on social media is now causing concern the world over…
With thousands of followers, these diet related posts are quick to spread and are almost always followed blindly without examining the repercussions.
Almost every other person is a keen social media user and ends up adopting diets that they see in order to lose weight and stay fit.
However, this can be potentially dangerous if this report from the Public Health England’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey is anything to go by- “Trendy diets followed by thousands of women in the city are causing a deficiency of key minerals, magnesium and copper in women aged between 20-30. People who follow such diets on social media are likely to cut out their dairy, fish, meat and gluten.
Experts also opine that people who follow some diets on social media may end up confused on what to eat and what not to.
The data also revealed that using such social media applications for diets has resulted in patients feeling depressed and lonely.
It is apparently causing a sense of low self-esteem, adding to sleep deprivation and making users feel self-increasingly self conscious about their body.
Nutritionist Dr Emma Derbyshire, from the research group, says, “Avoidance of food groups is very trendy at the moment, but if you follow these diets you need to work very hard to make sure you get the right nutrient.”
Akshay, Gym Trainer says, “It is certainly not advisable to follow a diet which one sees on social media. These are diets that are not designed keeping in mind body weight and type etc. They are just general broad diets but they have so many followers and everyone ends up thinking that they are good.
High intake of protein is essential for losing weight but we never advise anyone to restrict carbs, gluten and dairy products. A human body requires all kind of food, so everything should be consumed, but the proportion of the meal needs to be different depending on the individual and time.
There are some videos and posts which includes recipes and there is no harm following the recipes, but a diet is not about losing weight. It is about having a healthy lifestyle to avoid medical concerns. Along with the diet, daily exercise for at least half an hour is essential.
Diet should not restrict your food intake and should be designed to give you a healthy food intake, Akshay added.
Bhushan Paranjpe, Creative director, “Social media should not be blamed for affecting an individuals health. There is no harm following a diet seen on social media since everybody is nowadays aware of what to eat, when to eat and how to eat.”
I see nothing wrong in following recipes and charts which indicate the proportion of food. If it guides you in detail about the nutrition you need to follow, it is absolutely fine.
People who believe that these sites are affecting their health, they should just avoid the use of social media. There are in any case options to unfollow on Instagram or Facebook, Paranjpe added.
Vineeta Roy, Boxer says, ” They have helped me lose 5 kgs in a month. Why wouldn’t one follow if the pages are correct and provide you personal attention also when you message them.
One half of my Instagrams feed is entirely filled with pages on how to lose weight! There are plenty of recipes one can follow without restricting yourself to food choices and if these are credible pages, what is the harm?
Moreover, it is best to try a diet option of your own before you go and empty your pockets on whey supplements and steroids and other stuff.
Santosh Nikam, Student says, “It is affecting their health because people are obsessed about their fitness. Quite a few women prefer being skinny to being fit and this is probably why they follow such pages.”
These diets are restrictive and mainly focus on losing weight and not on staying fit. For instance, some of them encourage a person to have only salad the entire day or eight glasses of water which is inappropriate.
Our body needs food but there is no compulsion that a person should eat after every two hours. One should just have four good meals and avoid eating junk rather than getting carried away by these trendy diets, Nikam adds.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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