Last year, false claims made through website ads, apps and social media regarding diet advice online accounted for 25% of complaints made to the advertising standards agency. Yet, celebrities offering incorrect nutritional advice on social media still continues.
Many dieticians and nutritionists agree these platforms are good ways to post sound advice. However, there is a lot of misinformation. Thankfully, there are ways to separate the wheat from the chaff.
In this post, we introduce two of five pieces of advice.
How to Work Out Whether Diet Advice Online is Quality
Evidence-Based Purely on Personal Stories
Many false stories draw people in through relatable language and tone which is easier to understand for the average person than hard scientific evidence. If someone claims that everyone can look the same if they simply adopt a certain lifestyle or diet, dismiss this claim. Genetics play an important part, and they cannot be overridden this way. So, don’t be drawn in by someone that looks good from a so-called lifestyle change. It doesn’t make them an expert. While social media is a great way for people suffering the same issue to come together and share advice, professional advice should always be sought.
Posts that Only Sell Something or Offer Advice
Sponsored posts are common on social media. Meaning this is rife with product ads like diet aids. They may not have the knowledge to say they’re safe or not. In fact, some people promoting these products haven’t even used them. This has been particularly problematic on Instagram. Where influencers have been banned by the ASA for posting irresponsible messages. Thankfully, the public is latching on. In fact, campaigns are even emerging for better regulation. Some ads are now being blocked to under 18’s. People can now also report ads they find inappropriate.
Check back next time where we introduce more recommendations on taking diet advice online.