Food bloggers hold a lot of power. They tell you what to eat if you want to look like them. But many are lacking the credentials to back up their claims.
It’s a frightening trend that has sounded the alarm for one Ontario mom, who is concerned not only for her daughter’s health but other impressionable people too.
Amreena Hussein says like many others, her 16-year-old daughter used to spend a lot of time online looking up popular hashtags, such as #nocarbs, #nosugar, #cleaneating.
“She would be looking at these food bloggers or… people who are on diets, promoting certain diets and she’s like oh they’re doing this, why can’t I do it?”
Hussein’s daughter isn’t on Instagram anymore because she doesn’t support a lot of diets being promoted online.
“When you get into the realm of you know I’m doing this and you should do this too because this is what you’re going to look like, I think it creates problems for people,” Hussein said.
Toronto dietitian Andy Desantis agreed.
“One of the most common issues that I see in my practice is people who come in and they’re afraid of carbohydrates they’re afraid of sugar to the point where they won’t have any fruit in their diet and that’s where kind of draw the line and say that’s a really big concern.”
A recent study finds those who use Instagram have a higher chance of developing Orthorexia nervosa. It’s an emerging concept, which means an obsession with eating clean.
Desantis says a lot of the healthiest foods out there that help people live a long time are fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and other whole grains that are good for you. He says it doesn’t make sense to deprive yourself of them, no matter what any blogger says.
He adds, you should be getting your nutritional advice from registered dietitians and not just any person who calls themselves nutritionists.
Every person is different and while you may not see any harmful effects of cutting out complete food groups short-term, you can face health problems in the long run.
By Maleeha Sheikh