There’s a downside to all that social media high. By Estelle Low
Active social media users with many close friends are more likely to binge. Photo: Anna Bizon / 123rf.com
Social media can make you fat.
Yep, you read that right. And it’s got nothing to do with those #foodporn photos you see on your feed. Okay, maybe a little.
Back to the point: A series of US studies found that active social media users with many close friends in their network are more likely to binge. What?
These friends don’t have to be your BFFs in real life. So long as they are frequent likers and commenters of your posts, they count as “close”.
What researchers found was that active users tend to choose a less healthy snack (for instance, a chocolate chip cookie over a granola bar) after browsing Facebook.
The authors, Keith Wilcox, assistant professor of marketing at Columbia University and Andrew Stephen, assistant professor of business administration at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in the US, explain that using social media can boost feelings of self-worth. Unfortunately, “this momentary increase in self-esteem leads users to display less self-control afterwards”.
It makes sense, if you think about it. When you feel positive about yourself, you’re more likely to say yes to a treat. Or agree to something you normally wouldn’t.
So while Facebook and Instagram can leave you on a high, it can potentially thwart your diet plan.
Suggestion: Follow fitness personalities like @kayla_itsines and @saramayfit, strong advocates for clean and balanced eating, and you’ll think twice before indulging.