If you are looking for untrained, ordinary individuals to take on the role of dietitians and nutritionists, social media is the place to go. It is filled with nutritional advice of all kinds, including what, how, and when to eat from people who don’t have any background in nutrition.
True nutritional experts urge people to be more careful when following this dietary advice, as not every diet works for everyone’s health, and some social media advice can be harmful.
Dr. Janaki Srinath, Senior Nutritionist and National Executive Committee Member of the Nutrition Society of India, said, “There is a difference between technical diet planning and generalized diet planning. Qualified nutritionists plan diets technically while keeping the condition of the patient in mind.”
Many social media diets and nutritional advice is aimed to help people lose weight, which can have disastrous consequences as everyone’s body is different. It can also promote a negative relationship with food.
Srinath said, “We don’t irrationally focus on weight loss. I’m trained to keep facts in mind about body composition and what is required in weight loss. We focus more on fat loss and retain the muscle and bone mass. I also keep the general nutrition requirement of the person in mind, it is only then the ultimate objective of weight management is achieved. But often what is happening is that people only look at how quickly they can lose weight.”
This kind of nutritional advice can be especially dangerous, as it is often directed at younger women, making bold claims to help them lose weight and become thinner. However, everyone can be at risk of getting influenced by these so-called experts and should avoid taking diet or nutritional advice online.
Everyone’s health and body are different. It’s better to stay away from trendy diets and people offering advice without the proper educational background. Instead, seek out information from qualified doctors and nutritionists who can give you more holistic advice since they know the science and your own personal health.
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