Health Matters

Does social media influence what we eat?

Research on the subject suggests our online social circles may implicitly influence our eating habits. One study found that college students eat more fruits and vegetables or indulged in more funk food if they perceived their peers did as well.

University Medical Center Registered Dietician Suzanne Henson said social media often gives people ideas they may not have had on their own.

“There’s studies that show yes, we do sort of mimic our friends’ eating habits, whether that’s positive or not so positive,” Henson said. “But I like to turn it around with my patients and say maybe that we look at what others are doing in your social circle, on the different platforms and what could be something positive to take away from that.”

For example, Henson said she saw a former co-worker post a recipe for corn she’d never thought of.

“I thought, gosh, I was raised in the South and the way we do corn is to cream it or grill it, and it was a completely different way of food prep, and I thought I’d love to try that and maybe my patients would like it as well,” she said.

Categories: Community, Health Matters