The social networking app Tik Tok, which promotes comedy and talent, made its North American debut in 2018 and quickly gained popularity among viewers of all ages. The demand for this allegedly "addicting app" increased along with its "gone viral" dances and music, which attracted the interest of teenagers, young adults, and even older generations. However, as concerns of weight loss and purportedly "healthy routines" have started to take center stage, Tik Tok's two primary themes, dancing, and music, are degrading. This trend not only promotes unrealistic dietary behaviors and results but creates hazardous idealizations for those who are most vulnerable. It also fosters a false emphasis on body image.
For many who struggle with eating disorders and body image concerns, the combination of this well-known app, boredom, and the demand for entertainment that was intensified during the pandemic has unfortunately been rather draining. According to recent studies, eating disorders and body dysphoria have increased as a result of Tik Tok's widespread usage. Why is this taking place? In contrast to the usual themes of dance and comedy, a more recent trend has people hawking their ideal weight loss regimen, which may include exercises, fitness gear, and meal planning.
This rapidly spreading trend has attracted the attention of people who are at risk for eating disorders and disorders of body image, making consumers wonder what they eat, how they dress, and how their bodies compared to those they observe. These comparisons are poisonous because they make people think, "I should eat better," "Why can't I look like that," or "I wish I could do that." Therefore, those who are heavily impacted will have corrupted cognitive patterns and behaviors due to a sense of shame and a decline in self-worth. It's vital to remember that because humans have different physical and psychological makeups, these promoted routines may not work for all body types and personalities. We are not all wired to behave the same way!
The battle to achieve the "ideal" in our diet culture is brought on by this systemic tendency of fad weight loss that is now the focus of social media eating trends, and it is endangering both our physical and mental health. Our current culture has normalized and embraced this dieting culture, implanting the notion that having physical goals and becoming slim is what it means to be successful. Anyone reading this essay has probably seen marketing tactics on television or on social media because they are so prevalent.
These dangerous corruptions are permeating our most vulnerable populations. The burden of our rigorous expectations might make it seem like the constant effort is required to achieve the ideal figure. The prevalence of eating disorders and body image disorders has increased as a result of our constant inability to be satisfied with ourselves and our sense of the need to always be better.
The thousands of "What I Eat in a Day" videos that young people upload online as examples of how they ought to handle their diets are causing medical professionals growing amounts of concern.
The videos, which are routinely uploaded by young online influencers and largely seen on TikTok and Instagram, are typically aimed to motivate.
However, many of the clips, according to doctors and nutritionists, encourage harmful eating patterns as strategies to look and feel your best.
Many of these movies encourage unhealthful eating patterns and a diet culture. In contrast to these carefully managed movies, people may feel self-conscious and worried when watching these, according to Chelsea Kronengold, the National Eating Disorders Association's communications manager, who spoke with Healthline.
According to Kronengold, "People may become hooked on what they eat, and this content might support disordered eating habits like restriction and orthorexia, (which is) an abnormal obsession with healthy eating.
According to experts, a significant portion of the issue is the prevalent one-size-fits-all attitude.
According to Allison Chase, a psychotherapist at the Eating Recovery Center who is based in Austin, Texas, "'What I Eat in a Day' videos can create irrational expectations in the viewer and trigger disordered behaviors."
Impacts On The Body And Mind
Social media may be detrimental to your mental health, as is well known. According to studies, excessive app use can increase the chance of developing sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and, in the worst situations, self-harm or suicidal ideation.
Experts attribute some of this to the potential for negative emotions on platforms. Such content might evoke emotions like resentment or jealousy that others are having more fun or leading better lives than they are, for instance, when a person views photographs or videos of another person's life and feels uneasy about their own.
Many individuals presumably share them with the best of intentions, not realizing that there is actually quite a dark side to them and that they are hurtful and harmful.
One-quarter of the 1.25 million people in the UK who have eating disorders, according to Beat, are men. Anyone who could find themselves becoming fixated on the fad was urged to talk to someone about it, experts advise.
The target market typically does not yet have fully formed brains, according to Chase.
Chase said that if a viewer thought, "Well, if this girl has the body I want, and this is what she's eating, then if I eat what she eats in a day, I'll look like that, too," she would also have the desired physique. But that's not a healthy or realistic approach to achieving what is probably an extremely improbable objective. What is appropriate for one body may not be appropriate for another. Since our bodies are intricate machines, it is crucial that we understand what is required for our own health and well-being.
When people advise severe calorie restriction, cutting off entire food groups, and using supplements or medicines that work "magically," it can be especially dangerous. Extreme behavior or quick cures can affect one's health and encourage disordered eating, according to the study. A doctor or nutritionist should prescribe and oversee any significant changes to your diet.
Few are aware of how significantly these affect our mental health. More than ever, we need to safeguard and strengthen our mental health because we are aware that more people are experiencing anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Each person has distinct requirements and needs for their diet in terms of energy usage, digestion, resistance to insulin, swelling, and oxidative stress. Even if two people consume the exact same meal, their bodies will process, digest, and utilize these nutrients in totally different ways.
Videos Emphasizing Not Eating
There are many videos online regarding what people don't eat in a day, according to John Fawkes, a certified nutrition coach, and personal trainer located in Los Angeles, who spoke with Healthline.
Whether intentionally or not, undereating appears to be heavily encouraged in these videos, according to Fawkes. You would frequently see videos where someone ate nothing but one piece of fruit for breakfast, an unbalanced low-carb salad for lunch, and a dish that promoted a diet fad for dinner. For a youngster, much less an adolescent or adult, there are not enough calories. Not only is undereating harmful from a caloric perspective, but many of these diets also lack diversity and minerals.
Teenage girls, who already encounter a great deal of complex and unhealthy body image messages, appear to be the target audience for a lot of the "What I Eat in a Day" video productions that are advertised to them. You're merely stoking the fire further.
Remember that the children and teenagers who are reading these postings are still in their formative years, and the kind of internet information they are exposed to will surely affect how their social, physical, and mental health develops. The effects on health could be very detrimental. The ideal person to consult with, if one wants advice on what to eat for health maintenance, is a doctor or nutritionist who is familiar with the person's entire medical history and is best qualified to provide expert nutrition recommendations.
According to a TikTok spokesman, any content that encourages, normalizes, or glorifies disordered eating is not permitted on the platform and will be taken down. We want to ensure that they can use TikTok safely. Many people who are battling eating disorders or who are in the recovery process turn to us for support. On our app, we give users access to professional resources, and we're always looking for innovative ways to tailor content preferences, get rid of objectionable material, and broaden the discovery experience.
Things Parents Should Be Aware Of
Not all food films are dangerous, according to some experts.
I believe they could be helpful as inspiration because some of them do provide excellent suggestions for boosting your daily intake of vegetables, fiber, healthy fats, protein, and whole foods. For instance, I was once asked by a client what in the world to do with an avocado. She was aware that she should purchase it, but she was unsure of how to do it.
According to health experts, parents should set a good example for their children and involve them in grocery shopping and meal preparation.
It also helps to pay attention to what they post on social media.
Learning how to locate this information is the greatest method for parents to be prepared to obtain appropriate nutrition information for a child. Registered dieticians should be consulted by parents for nutritional advice, and they should teach their children to do the same. People frequently search for the fastest solution when it comes to weight loss. Obtaining nutrition advice is now simpler than ever thanks to social media, but sadly, this information is not always reliable.
What Strategy Should You Use In Its Place?
You can't rely on these posts to be entirely accurate or useful because you don't know the influencer's background. Simply by seeing these movies, you cannot comprehend their relationship with food or their own perception of their bodies. Byrne advises against attempting to imitate influencers' eating habits or turning to them for nutrition advice since, in the end, they are not in the greatest position to know what is best for you. There is also no way to verify if someone's statement of their daily diet is truthful or a decent approximation of their typical eating, the author adds.
1. Reject Eat Like Me, Look Like Me Promises.
According to Cara Harbstreet, an intuitive eating registered dietitian at Street Smart Nutrition and author of "Healthy Eating for Life: An Intuitive Eating Workbook," the underlying message these posts convey is that if you eat like them, you will someday look like them. But just because someone else eats something doesn't mean it's healthy for you - particularly as these "staged" videos don't really show what people eat on a daily basis.
Frequently, overly styled meals don't equal a diet that is appropriate in terms of nutrients. The posts encourage the fantasy of a perfect or ideal eating day and a perfect or ideal body size.
Younger audiences, particularly girls and young women, internalize the idea that in order to achieve and retain not only health but also social acceptability, they must eat like these producers. The trend's tendency to normalize disordered or restrictive eating patterns is what I perceive as causing the most overall harm. The inability of young people to find and receive appropriate support or medical attention for an eating disorder can be the outcome of this.
Even while the #whatieatinaday photos show a healthy diet, the subtext that says "eat like me, and you will look like me" is dangerous since even if someone copies the Instagrammer's diet down to the last bite, they could not end up with the same body size.
Furthermore, a balanced, appropriate day with filling meals for one person could be insufficient and unpleasant for another. And to make matters worse, someone reading these posts could believe that in order to lose weight, they only need to consume half as much.
2. Prevent Comparison Pitfalls
Dietitian Alissa Rumsey, who lives in New York City and wrote the book "Unapologetic Eating," claims that the majority of the people who create these videos are skinny, young, fit, and white. The total lack of body diversity encourages detrimental comparisons to wildly inflated body ideals that are out of reach for the vast majority of people.
The similarity of these posts bothers Tamara Melton, a certified dietitian who works as the executive director and co-founder of Diversify Dietetics in Atlanta. It's possible that people from different cultures won't appreciate the cuisine linked with the cultures that celebrities are promoting. They can interpret this to suggest that the meals from their culture are unhealthy, which is untrue.
Tessa Nguyen, a licensed dietitian and chef located in South Korea and the owner of Taste Nutrition Consulting, concurs. Messages that focus on the superficial aesthetics of clothing or eating a certain way are harmful because they reinforce racist categorizations regarding how foods, bodies, and behaviors are considered "good" and "bad."
This is especially painful, she argues because social media algorithms exclusively amplify and promote artists who are white, skinny, able-bodied, and neurotypical. Additionally, it spreads the myth that being physically attractive indicates good health. Posts like "What I eat in a day" create an unattainable standard and encourage comparisons and guilt when the viewer can't relate to what the writer is expressing. Since these posts are detrimental, those of us from marginalized communities are once more unable to find good depictions of our varied bodies, foods, and cultural representations.
3. One Meal a Time Approach.
Many of the qualified dietitians with whom I spoke advocate publishing a single meal as opposed to a day's worth of meals. Instead of copying an entire day's worth of food, Hartley claimed that a single meal or recipe might serve as an idea or inspiration.
A full meal that is presented on a plate and includes a range of foods and adequate carbohydrates can be helpful because diet culture has distorted our perception of how much is "normal" to eat during meals or snacks. People who were battling eating disorders found it useful to observe others enjoying a plated meal since it helped normalize how much food people consume when they are eating.
4. Take Charge of Your Social Media Feed.
As a result of the #whatieatinaday trend's growing pushback, many of the posts you'll now see exaggerate what people actually eat on a daily basis by showcasing disproportionately huge quantities of fatty foods and alcoholic beverages, maybe as an attempt to mock the absurdity of the ideal posts. The majority of these blogs, however, continue to promote the idea of the ideal eating day.
Melton claims she enjoys bringing up the fact that social media is just one person's highlight reel and that you have some control over how it affects you. Feel free to unfollow any influencer you are following if they don't help you feel better about your health.
Expert nutritionists and dieticians advise unfollowing anyone who posts recordings of their meals using the hashtag #whatieatinaday. Instead, she advises those interested in food-related material to follow those who are cooking and preparing enjoyable meals or those who discuss food while also urging them to pay attention to their bodies.
Aim to diversify your feed so that you are following a variety of body types and food content makers. Avoid following anyone whose body or diet makes you compare yourself adversely to them.
Why are Videos of "What I Eat in a Day" So Well-liked?
Some of the videos in this trend have more than 500,000 likes. The popularity of these videos on TikTok is attributed to how users view the app, according to experts.
The videos on TikTok are thought to be more genuine. According to Li Huang, an assistant professor of marketing at Hofstra University, "It feels like they are regular people like us." "They try to make it seem as though they are individuals just like you and that this is what I eat every day."
Huang has conducted an in-depth study on how social sharing affects consumer choices and teaches social media courses. Huang claims that in addition to TikTok's perceived authenticity, the trend's simplicity has also contributed to these films' success.
Make this assignment incredibly simple if you want your audience to participate in something. The dream of [viewers] is that their video will achieve the same level of success as those stars," Huang said.
The "What I Eat in a Day" video has since been repeatedly made with various changes. Some food-related videos include just wholesome, home-cooked meals, while others focus on food from special events.
A TikTok creator named Amanda Seth makes "What I eat in a day" videos and has over 60,000 app followers. She can be seen eating dishes from Asian cuisines including Vietnamese pho and Korean kimbap in one of her most popular videos, which has had around 3.4 million views.
It could be more beneficial to be able to view a variety of those movies rather than just one type of person. However, in general, I'm not sure if anyone would find the "What I Eat in a Day" movies to be that useful," Dolan remarked.
Dolan claims that the easiest way to stop people from comparing themselves to the people in these videos is to organize your feeds so that only positive stuff is displayed to you.
You may also locate content producers who produce incredibly positive content that inspires others to accept themselves if you take the time to look for them.
Watching these films might cause disordered eating if the viewer develops external food rules based on the material and loses touch with their own hunger and fullness cues. While there is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from food videos, it's vital to step back and consider how your eating habits are impacting your mood. If you start to feel guilty and nervous about eating anything that isn't portrayed in the movies or if you start bingeing on 'forbidden' foods, this is a warning sign. And at Energy Meal Plans Dubai; we can help you with healthy eating plans.