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Explosion of fake nutrition advice

Diet and exercise are hot topics of discussion on social media platforms, but not all of them are true.

In recent years, diet and nutrition have become prominent topics on social media platforms. Users can easily find ads for weight loss foods to recipes, exercise routines. But much of this content comes from non-specialists, including celebrities and social media influencers.

A study analyzing about 1.2 million tweets in 16 months on the National Library of British Medicine in 2020 found that most of the posts about diet and nutrition came from non-experts. medical. Or research presented at the European Congress on Obesity in 2019 found that only one in nine people with an influence on weight loss in the UK can afford to give reliable nutrition advice.

It sounds alarming, but Internet users should not completely reject such information, because there is still reliable advice. What you need to do is identify an accurate, verifiable source of information.

Risks and dangers of listening to nutrition advice on social networks

For many people, sharing stories, posts or videos is a personal right, but they inadvertently have serious consequences. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) recently asked Instagram to clamp down on accounts that advertise and sell Apetamin, the appetite stimulant, often touted for its ability to enhance body curves. Or detox teas are introduced to help boost metabolism, burn fat and remove harmful toxins from the body.

“There is currently no action taken against the multitude of social media accounts that sell drugs that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration,” the NHS said.

In 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit against the detox tea marketer, alleging that claims to cure cancer and help unclog arteries lack real proof. The FTC also sent a warning letter to 10 influencers to warn about food propaganda of unknown origin.

Besides making false health claims, these products contain side effects, even endangering lives. For example, a 51-year-old woman developed severe hyponatremia after consuming an over-the-counter detox tea product. Or a 60-year-old woman with acute liver failure, presenting with symptoms of jaundice, weakness, and mental instability when taking this product three times a day, for two weeks.

Unhealthy diets, using functional foods of unknown origin are rampant on social networks. Illustration: jsa

Unhealthy diets, using functional foods of unknown origin are rampant on social networks. Illustration: JSA

In addition, fad diets and cleanses that are heavily advertised on social media also promote eating disorders and harm mental health.

These tips not only increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies, are more susceptible to physical and mental health problems, and foster an unhealthy relationship with food, experts say.

Even, many shared content tends to glorify dangerous diets, unhealthy habits such as prolonged fasting, using foods of unknown origin or applying extreme exercise regimes to lose weight. fast.

American TV star Kim Kardashian has just caused a stir when sharing the secret to losing weight in a short time to go to a party. Kim’s rate of weight loss is alleged to be much faster than the standard recommended by experts, from 0.2 kg to 0.9 kg per week.

Many slimming trends also set unrealistic expectations, foster a diet culture and perpetuate an obsession with unhealthy eating, especially among young people.

How to remove malicious advice?

Check shared account: Instead of trusting social media influencers, you should get nutrition advice from experts with education, experience and training. In addition, users can consult information from certified personal trainers to learn about exercise and eating regimens.

Avoid promotional content: According to the FTC, social media influencers are paid to promote products, regardless of quality. When receiving promotional videos, you should look through reviews from real customers or healthcare professionals before making a decision.

Beware of unrealistic claims: Many diet products and supplements are advertised to help increase health, lose weight quickly. But these products are harmful to health and are not capable of long-term, sustainable weight loss.

Avoid excessive dieting: Current diets often eliminate nutrients or entire food groups for easy weight loss. But in the long run, this regimen can have some serious health consequences and increase the risk of eating disorders.

Minh Phuong (According to Healthline)

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