TikTok is a popular social networking platform. Though people of all ages use it, it is a craze among the teens and young population of the world. The users share various ideas on it. But a new US study shows that TikTok videos are promoting a toxic diet culture in the youth.
TikTok videos and their impact
The social media platform, TikTok has been gaining popularity in the world. The teens and the young people are particularly attracted to this platform. They exchange various types of information, concepts and ideas on this platform. New food recipes are commonly shared on this social media.
But how right and healthy are these new ideas on diet? Most of the time the new video on TikTok about a new food innovation or recipe might not be the one well studied into. It might range from being an harmless post to a detrimental one.
But the users on this platform, especially the youth do not think on these aspects and try to incorporate the ideas in their lives. This might have far reaching bad implications on them. A new American study has shown that TikTok videos are leading to a toxic diet culture in young people.
The research study of the USA on TikTok
Researchers from the University of Vermont studied 100 videos that were picked up from 10 popular food, nutrition, and weight-related hashtags. These TikTok videos had an in-depth analysis on them to know which glorified weight loss, stressed on food to produce thinness, and lacked expert knowledge to back the claims made in the videos.
The research team found that the videos provided a very unrealistic and incorrect picture of food, health and nutrition. Most of these videos glorified weight loss and extreme thinness.
But at the same time, these wrong videos and hashtags had more than a billion views each since the beginning of the research in 2020. Their reach has increased over the years. This study was published in the journal PLOS One.
According to senior researcher Lizzy Pope,
“Each day, millions of teens and young adults are being fed content on TikTok that paints a very unrealistic and inaccurate picture of food, nutrition, and health,”
“Getting stuck in weight loss TikTok can be a really tough environment, especially for the main users of the platform, which are young people,”
The researchers found that the platform videos led to eating disorders in these teens. Young people were increasingly dissatisfied with their body image. The study paper states:
“The media app undoubtedly elevate the key principles of weight normativity. And may reinforce to viewers the belief that weight is an important indicator of health status and overall self-worth.”
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“The many trends associated with weight loss omit lifestyle factors that play a role in weight and health, and leave viewers with the message that weight loss and thinness is achievable and desirable to all, potentially leading to unhealthy perceptions and behaviours surrounding food, weight, and body image,”