Celebrity social media often promote junk food for free

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According to Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter

Thursday, January 13, 2022 (HealthDay News)

Images of people eating and drinking are a staple of social media, but new research shows that such posts from celebrities often spotlight junk food head-on.

Researchers have found that profit is not always the reason. Celebrities often emphasize their favorite of unhealthy foods without paying.

“95% of photos including food Beverage The celebrity Instagram profile wasn’t really sponsored by a food or beverage company. “They were natural depictions of celebrities who eat and drink in their daily lives,” said Bradley Turnwald, lead author of the study.

Celebrities say, “We are in a society that values ​​and normalizes unhealthy diets. alcohol “Like you and I, consumers have the right to post what they like online,” added Turnwald, a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago Booth Business School.

Still, they are often idolized, saying, “Just following a celebrity on social media exposes your followers to an unhealthy food profile. Beverage.. “

In the middle of Obesity epidemic, It’s a disaster recipe, Turnwald added. “A disaster that cannot be easily resolved by simply banning food advertising and sponsorship on social media. Most such posts do not include either.”

In this survey, investigators tracked all food-related posts made by 181 athletes, actors, television personalities, and musicians on Instagram between May 2019 and March 2020. They ranged from 17 to 73 years old and were under 32 years old.

More than 3,000 food-related celebrity posts are quoted, with nearly 5,200 different foods drink..Just over half contained only drinks and more than half featured drinks alcohol.. It features a little over one-third of snacks and sweets.

nutrition Profiles have been created for all foods and beverages found with particular care. sugar, Salt, calorie saturated fat, fiber, Protein and fruit and / or vegetable content

Results: Researchers pointed out that nearly 90% of celebrity food and drink posts were essentially unhealthy under current UK youth-related advertising regulations. Less than 5% of all food / beverage related posts linked to paid sponsorships by food or beverage manufacturers.

Researchers have also observed that celebrity posts featuring relatively healthy food choices are significantly less likely to receive likes and comments from followers.

“Therefore, as long as celebrities want to promote follower engagement, poorly-healthy foods increase follower engagement and provide additional incentives for celebrities to post unhealthy foods,” Turnwald said. I am.

The survey results were released on January 12th. JAMA network open..

The findings do not surprise the author, Dr. Ellen Selkie. Ancillary editorial Associate Professor of Adolescent Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

“This reflects a culture that enhances sugar-rich foods. fat “Instagram is a visual platform, so it makes sense for celebrities to post pictures of visually appealing food,” Selkie said.

Still, “real” celebrity food posts can be less realistic than they look. “In fact, most celebrities may be eating healthier foods. [including] Fruits and vegetables-more than they post. “

There is one possible solution, Selkie said.It is to encourage social media platforms to adopt algorithms that favor posting more nutritious foods by giving them a higher profile than the poor. nutrition Post. “This may allow celebrities to post more of this kind of content,” she explained.

But with different food nutrition Experts have made simpler recommendations.

“Don’t get you Nutritional advice From celebrities and athletes. ” nutrition At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Sandon, who was not part of the study, is what people see in the media is a particular food or diet Action. “Celebrities and athletes can be very powerful role models, especially for young people. teens, “She said.

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A campaign pointing to the popular “Got Milk?”, Sandon said it featured a powerful media message aimed at getting kids. teens To drink more milk. “It’s nice to see more of this kind of thing, probably the” Got Fruit “campaign,” she said.

And while it would be helpful to see more celebrities posting about healthier ways of eating, Sandon admitted that it wasn’t their expertise or work.

Her suggestion: “If you need healthy nutritional advice, follow one of the many registered dietitians (nutrition experts) on social media instead.”

For more information

There are more Healthy life and American Academy of Nutrition and Nutrition..

Source: Bradley P. Turnwald, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Chicago Booth Business School Decision Research Center; Ellen Selky Doctor of Medicine, MPH, Assistant Professor, Adolescent Medicine, Department Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Madison; Lona Sandon, PhD, MEd, RDN, LD, Program Director and Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) School of Clinical Nutrition. JAMA network open, January 12, 2022

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Celebrity social media often promote junk food for free

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