Social media today has become one of the major modes of information and entertainment. We find different types of posts and stories on our feeds that keep us hooked for hours. Then we have the social media influencers. There are different categories of influencers across social media, influencing our lives (on a daily basis) with different types of content. One such popular category is food influencers. From what to eat to where to eat – we are consciously or unconsciously channelised by these influencers and their content. But did you know, they might be promoting unhealthy foods and drinks?! That’s right. A recent study has found that most of the food content posted by the food influencers fails to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) advertising standards for children. This study was conducted by researchers at the Medical University of Vienna and was presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Maastricht, Netherlands.
As a part of this study, the researchers analysed the content uploaded by six of the most popular German influencers on Instagram, YouTube and other platforms. They kept a close tap on the meals that made appearance on their posts and videos. These influencers majorly had teenage followers between 13 to 17 years of age. The combined total followers these influencers have are more than 35 million.
It was found that 75 percent of the foods in their content had high salt, fat and sugar content, which otherwise are highly advised to be avoided. “Chocolate and sweets were the most commonly featured products influencers posted about, underscoring the urgent need for policies and effective regulation of influencer marketing to children”, the study reads.
The researchers further raised their concern, saying, influencers have great power to influence young minds. In such a scenario “how can we expect our children to eat healthily when content on social media is skewed to promote foods high in fat, salt, and sugar”?!
They further urged for a policy reformation and a comprehensive approach towards the role of an influencer in junk food marketing. This might help kids avoid junks and indulge in healthy lifestyle choices.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.
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