You eat what you follow, researchers say. If you feel like all your Facebook friends and Instagram followers (including those when you buy Instagram followers) are living a healthy life, you’re more likely to do this yourself.
And vice versa, it also works like this: if you only see junk food on your timeline, you are more likely to order a pizza than a salad. This is shown by research from New Aston University.
The researchers asked more than 350 respondents to indicate how many fruits and vegetables they thought their Facebook friends ate, and how much junk food and soda they consumed. Whether these friends ate so healthy or unhealthy in practice is not important: it is about what they radiate online.
“Then it can be done once
These answers were compared with the eating behavior of the respondents themselves. That comparison shows that people in whose online bubble it is common to eat unhealthily, are also more likely to reach for a fatty bite. “When you see your friends doing the same thing, you get the feeling that it’s possible for once.” The people whose online friends seem to eat healthier also consume more fruit and vegetables themselves.
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The researchers also looked at the BMI of the respondents, but that does not appear to have any influence on this study. It is not yet known whether there are also real effects in the long term. If there are, dietitian Aisling Piggott of the British Dietetic Association sees something in it. Social media could be used in the future to promote a healthier lifestyle and to ‘nudge’ people in the right direction.
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