When it comes to social media, most of us routinely use at least one or two social media platforms. Whether you are a fan of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform it is now part of everyone’s lives to some degree. But how much is too much? At what point does it begin to effect our health?
For many social media is a serious addiction and studies are now showing how much harm it can cause to your health. Research has associated excessive social media use with depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and social isolation.
Could social media be contributing to your weight?
Pictures of food and beverages clog the news feeds of 63 percent of social media users ages 13 to 32. As of May 2015, #foodporn, a hashtag used to mark photos of snacks and meals, was tagged 54 million times on Instagram alone! In 2018 that statistic has grown exponentially! Food porn can actually stir up your appetite and compel overindulging. In the October 2015 issue of the journal Brain and Cognition they discovered that the brain undergoes dramatic neurophysiological changes in response to food images that increase physiological hunger. According to the study, “external food cues, such as the sight of appetizing food, can evoke a desire to eat, even in the absence of hunger.”
What you can do about it
- Take a break from social media! If you are tempted to look at your phone every 10 minutes it’s time to put some restrictions on your usage!
- Turn the ringer and all notifications off so you won’t be tempted by all incoming texts, calls and app notifications.
- Set limits on your usage. Carve out specific times in the day when you are allowed to be on a device.
- Look for healthy food porn and get excited about nutritious food that looks delicious! You can start by following me on Instagram @karenmartelnutrition.
- Make a point of socially connecting with others in real life instead of just via text, Instagram and Facebook.