Guess what, foodies? Scrolling on the ‘gram can help you make healthier food choices. A new study revealed that social media users who view images of healthy foods heavily endorsed with ‘likes’ are more likely to make healthier food choices. These findings were published in Appetite Journal.
The study was spearheaded by psychologists from Aston University’s College of Health and Life Sciences. They found that study participants who viewed highly liked mock Instagram posts of fruits and vegetables ate more proportions of grapes than cookies.
Aside from checking out photos of fruits and vegetables, participants of the study looked at less nutritious foods such as cakes and biscuits, and non-food images such as stylish interior designs. However, the researchers found that the participants went on to consume a larger proportion of grapes after viewing highly liked images of fruit and vegetables, compared to the other images.
“The findings of the study suggest that not only exposure to healthy food images on social media, but those that are also heavily endorsed with ‘likes’, may nudge people to choose to eat more healthy foods, in place of less nutritious foods,” Lily Hawkins, Aston University psychology Ph.D. student Lily Hawkins and study lead explained.
“What we see others approve of eating and post about eating on social media can affect our actual eating behavior and could result in a greater consumption of healthier meals and snacks,” Hawkins shared. “One reason for this may be because thinking that others ‘like’ and eat fruit and vegetables nudges participants to alter their behavior in order to fit in with what they perceive to be the norm,” Hawkins added.
Basically, social media could be used as a way to train yourself to eat healthier. Isn’t that neat? BRB checking out more salads now!
Art Daniella Sison