The Dangers of Allowing Social Media Tell You How to Lose Weight

The Dangers of Allowing Social Media Tell You How to Lose Weight

Seeking medical advice online 

From tackling a new exercise regimen we spotted on Facebook, to deciding to try the Instagram keto diet, we’ve all probably consciously or subconsciously made health choices based on our social media feed.

With the average person now spending over two hours a day on multiple social media platforms, it’s only logical that the friends and influencers we follow online alter the real-world decisions we make about our well-being.

A survey of family physicians conducted during the AAFP Family Medicine Experience in New Orleans, conducted by the Merck Manuals shows that access to more information does not equal access to better information. Ninety-seven percent of FPs who took the survey reported that patients presented to their office with untrue or inaccurate information at some point.

The increased access to online health information has the potential to increase a patient’s engagement in and understanding of their care,” stated Jen Frost, M.D., the medical director for the AAFP Division of Health of the Public and Science. “But misinformation can make patient care more difficult and has the potential to cause harm.


How can Social Media help you to lose weight?

Social Media can be a safe space to receive support and talk about weight issues. Though the detached nature of connecting with others from behind a screen is often criticized, the anonymity of social media has its benefits.

For some people talking about their weight issues can be a sensitive subject to discuss in person, and an online forum can present a safe space. This kind of mental support may have positive physical effects, too, since social connection improves overall health.

Additionally, Social Media can provide access to information on healthy products and health in general, as well as be a source of inspiration to many people. We have to remember, though, that there is a thin line between inspiration and following someone’s advice or example based on nothing but trust.


Why Social Media can be dangerous when following a “diet plan”

Unreliable information

People who want to lose weight have been advised by researchers to stay away from social media influencers who claim to have the newest diet fix. A study by a team at the University of Glasgow discovered that just one out of nine leading bloggers giving weight control advice presented reliable and accurate information to their readers. 

The university team investigated whether the health and diet claims that influencers made were transparent, reliable, nutritionally sound, and incorporated evidence-based recommendations. They also studied the role of bias in online information. The conclusions – presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow – revealed that most bloggers failed in crucial areas.


Unrealistic expectations

Usually, the images we see on Social Media show perfection. When we see them, we may feel that healthy food and good physical shape are not within our reach, or only for a few selected individuals.

Moreover, according to our nutritionist in Spring Hill, FL, social media can give you the feeling that preparing ‘perfect meals’ can be practically effortless. When you find it difficult, you can feel frustrated and believe you aren’t doing it right, which can cause you to give up altogether.


Emotional contagion

Research has also determined that emotions expressed on Social Media may be transferred between people. This phenomenon is known as “emotional contagion”.

If someone you follow concentrates exclusively on difficult issues concerning weight loss, your own mental and physical health might be negatively affected or influenced.


What is a safe way to lose weight?

The best way to lose weight is by applying weight-loss strategies that are proven trustworthy, healthy, safe, and customized for you. The only way to do this is by speaking to an experienced and trained dietician, even an online weight loss doctor. This way you can be sure that the information and advice given to you is correct and reliable. Plus – you can count on ongoing support they will give you.

There is no one-size-fits-all regimen for losing weight. Everyone has specific needs, a unique body, and individual goals. In creating a weight loss plan, all of these factors should be evaluated and considered to ensure that everything will suit your needs.


batista weight loss program


Learn more about our Weight Loss clinic near Brooksville and Wellness Clinic

Our highly qualified weight-loss experts at Batista Weight Loss and Wellness: Susan Batista, RDLD; John Batista, M.D.; Stephanie, M.A; and Valerie, Office Staff, together have decades of experience working with patients interested in weight loss in Spring Hill.

At the Batista Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic, we believe that successful weight loss depends on two factors: knowing how to lose weight and following through on your weight loss plan. Our expert dietitians will provide you with a customized weight loss plan and regular face-to-face interaction and motivation. You can also get in touch with our virtual weight loss doctor.

To create your own customized weight loss plan with us and achieve sustainable weight loss in Spring Hill, don’t hesitate to contact us at (352) 600-3476 or drop us a visit at our clinic: 443 Mariner Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34609, USA. 



The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.