Who are you trusting with your health?
It's not uncommon to see pictures (like above) of beautiful and delicious looking cookies scattered all over our instagram feeds these days promising to be the answer to all your problems. We're living in this generation of information overload! Everywhere we read or scroll there's individuals claiming to know everything about sensitive topics and it's becoming extremely concerning! Whether you want to admit it or not, sometimes we're putting our trust in people with pretty Instagram accounts & perfectly edited photos over, qualified healthcare practitioners, and yes I'm guilty of it too!
Honestly, this is something that really grinds my gears, and I've wanted to discuss it for a really long time. I'm aware this is a controversial topic and I don't do well with confrontations which has caused me to avoid it for a while because I'm not here to upset anyone or bag anyone. However, my intentions behind talking about this are good. I want to inform people about the harm they're potentially causing their own health by listening to uneducated sources. There are a lot of pages currently out there who don't think about the consequences of the information they're putting out there. They don't recognise the responsibility they have with such a huge following and social media presence.
How often have you seen a social influencer on instagram advertising a product claiming "they're literally obsessed with this" or "this has cured them" or "they couldn't live without this product'... Whether it's make-up, health supplements, clothing and much more we really are blinded by these influencers and take their word as gospel. This is all innocent when it comes to material items, because a bag or piece of clothing isn't going to directly impact your overall health. Yet, when we start looking at the specific diets or supplements they're recommending, issues begin to arise.
What are these diets they're advertising?
What's the information they're feeding you on their "what I eat in a day videos"? I don't care whether or not they place a disclaimer at the start, they're still influencing hundreds of thousands of people who are quite literally copying their every move!
You place young, naive girls in front of a screen and show them these YouTube and Instagram Influencers on a daily basis and they become obsessed. They desire to be like these women and therefore will take the advice they're giving them on a silver platter as the be all or end all. I mean all you have to do is scroll through Instagram and take note of products being advertised to realise we're entering a whole new world of marketing. Teen and adult girls are disregarding the harmful negative effects of diets on their personal health because it's "fashionable" in the social media world to eat what that influencer is eating or take the same supplements as them.
Let's consider the "paleo movement" created by a chef.. or the "low-carb, high-fat vegan diet" created by a YouTuber... who are actually advocating these movements? Celebrities & Social Influencers! It seems no one is actually taking advice from qualified practitioners anymore. Whatever happened to eating a balanced wholesome diet without the need for these supplements, pills and shakes?
What about essential oils, harmless right? Actually no, even these natural oils can be hazardous in high doses and no one let's you know this when they're including them in YouTube videos or photographing them on Instagram.
Do you really know how many posts you're looking at on social media are in fact paid advertisements? I's frightening because these influencers don't need a qualification to have their instagram account and therefore if they want to discuss health and nutrition they can. Often they're promoting harmful and risky products which may cause harm. Unfortunately, we (Qualified Nutritionists) are left undoing the damage done by these ridiculous fad diets or the harm caused from specific supplements.
For some reason we don't rely on Nutritionists for health advice, yet we'd never trust some random in the street performing surgery on us. There is NO difference. You NEED Accredited Clinical Nutritionists or Dieticians giving you nutritional advice.
Because these influencers have no idea about your specific needs and past. Whereas, a qualified practitioner will take all of this into account and tailor your treatment plan to these individual needs.
I'm sincerely sorry if this has gone off onto a ranting tangent, but enough is enough. Please consider every time you're reading a post on Instagram or Facebook, where is the information coming from, who is telling you, what are they trying to sell you, what is their intention behind advertising this and what are their qualifications? Always check their bio and find out where have they have studied. Usually a qualified practitioner will state their qualification with, for example; BHSc (Bachelor of Health Science) - Nutritionist. This is to keep you safe because there's sooo much information surrounding us, so it's important to ensure it's correct and beneficial to your health.
Lots of Love,