Vitality

5 Healthy Food Instagram Accounts To Follow; Platform May Help Users Choose Better Foods, Study Says

Many people turn to social media for health information, whether it be for nutritional advice, workout tips, or recipe ideas. Popular platforms, including Instagram and Tumblr, can be a double-edged sword; some people seek out thinspiration, but many others find healthy inspiration.

A new study from the University of Washington details how some individuals use Instagram to choose better foods, lose weight, and track their food intake, and we've listed five healthy food accounts below to follow. 

Read: Using Instagram To Share Her Battle With Anorexia, Show The Reality Of Eating Disorders

Instagram Instagram has over 700 million users worldwide, as of April 2017. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

For the study, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 16 women between the ages of 18 and 34 who actively record and share their eating habits on Instagram using the hashtags #fooddiary or #foodjournal. The authors were interested in learning about why and how people use the social media platform to support their health goals, and how social interaction affects their health decisions.

Many of the interviewees said they sought social and emotional support through the app. Some even said they felt more support from the Instagram community than their family and friends.

“It makes me feel like I’m around other people that feel the same, that have the same goals as me, and it can support me in that; whereas I don’t particularly have that with my friends and family just because they’re not particularly interested anymore,” said one interviewee, according to the paper.

Other respondents said they used the app as a means to motivate others, especially by commenting on user's posts who are struggling with an eating disorder.

“I want to motivate those other girls that are struggling to say, ‘Hey, I’m In recovery, too, and look what I’m eating.’ Like, I’ve had to go over the same kind of fears, of different fear-foods and stuff. I kind of use it as more of a motivation,” another interviewee told the researchers.

Other thematic findings the authors noted in their paper was that Instagram helped users hold themselves accountable, reflect on their past behavior, and engage in a more fun way to share their eating habits rather than through a traditional food journal.

The authors hope their data will inform the future development of tools that help achieve health goals. Their paper is going to be presented at the CHI 2017 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

If you’re looking to kick start your journey to healthier eating, check out these 5 popular Instagram accounts:

1. @fitmencook 

 

2.  @kalememaybe

 

3. @gkstories

 

4. @thewholefooddiary

 

5. @cleanfooddirtycity

 

See also: Healthy Eating Experts Weigh In On Social Media Nutrition Trends: Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Discuss Latest Fads

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